Nearly a year ago there were a large number of changes to employment law relating to zero hours contracts. Under these contracts, employers were not guaranteeing their employees hours of work, but were expecting their employees to show up for work if the need arose. This kind of arrangement is very different to a casual employee because a casual employee has the right to turn down any offer of work.
So what’s changed?
An employer is now required to set out the hours of work an employee is required to complete in the employment contract. Employers can be penalised for not complying with this rule.
The following are also now illegal:
Does this affect me?
This affects all employees and employers. However, this will especially affect those who work or provide work on rosters with hours that can change from day to day.
Why is it important now?
The new laws came in to effect nearly a year ago (1 April 2016) but there was a ‘transitional period’ for 1 year – this means that employers have had a year to comply with the new rules. So you still have a few weeks to make sure your employment contracts are up to scratch.
What happens if my employment agreements don’t comply?
If an employment contract does not comply with the new rules an employee can raise and make a claim for a personal grievance against the employer.
I’m an employer and I can’t always guarantee my employees a full week’s work. How can I ensure that my employees will work when I need them to?
As long as there is a genuine need, you can still have rosters which change depending on how busy you are. There are certain requirements which must be met, namely:
The compensation that needs to be paid must be reasonable considering the circumstances.
If you are unsure whether your employment contracts comply with these requirements, our specialists at Wakefields would be more than happy to have a chat with you – get in touch here.