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Employing temporary Christmas workers over the festive period

28 November 2019
Employing temporary Christmas workers over the festive period

With the busy Christmas period in full swing, employers across the UK will be looking to take on temporary staff to handle the increase in workload.

Christmas workers, or temporary staff, are those employed on a short-term basis. Usually as a result of the business requiring extra assistance during busy periods (think Black Friday, Christmas and the January sales).

What rights does a temporary worker have?

It is common for temporary workers to be employed on a fixed-term contract, working until the date agreed. During this period of temporary employment, it is important to remember that temporary workers are entitled to the same treatment as permanent employees. Meaning they have the same protections against discrimination and are not to be treated any less favourably as a result of their temporary status.

Other types of temporary employment

Agency contract

If you are employing temporary workers through an agency, contracts are usually agreed by the agency. It is the agency’s responsibility to make sure their employees’ rights are protected.

After 12 weeks of continuous employment in the same role, agency workers are afforded the same rights as permanent employees.

Zero hours contract

A zero hours contract is a non-legal term used to describe many different types of casual agreements between an employer and an individual.

Generally speaking, a zero hours contract is one in which the employer does not guarantee the individual any hours of work. The employer offers the individual work when it arises, and the individual can either accept the work offered or decide not to take up the offer of work on that occasion.

Everyone employed on a zero hours contract is entitled to statutory employment rights. There are no exceptions.

Freelancer or contractor

Those working as a freelancer or contractor are considered self-employed and responsibility for National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and tax more often lie with them.

They may not be entitled to the same rights as workers, such as minimum wage but you are still responsible for their health and safety.

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