Zero hours contracts

Discussion in 'Employment & HR' started by Infinite Clean, Feb 25, 2019.

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  1. Infinite Clean

    Infinite Clean UKBF Newcomer

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    Hi all,

    Looking for some advice on contracts.
    We are looking to employ a second member of staff. We have decided that, to start with, we would be offering 5hrs per week (not a lot but it is to help us out) with a view that, should the person want to increase their hours then we can offer more.

    However we don't know how to ensure that we don't make a mistake if we were to state the amount of hours in the contract. If we were to lose our biggest client, we may not be able to offer any hours and have to let our employees go.

    Are we best of stating that the position is a zero hours contract or can we put something into a contract to say that, should our client decide to leave, we would be unable to continue with their employment?

    Also, is there anyone who can help to draw up decent contracts of employment? Sorry if we sound a bit clueless but we have been trying to read up on different contract types and we just keep going around in circles.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
    Posted: Feb 25, 2019 By: Infinite Clean Member since: Apr 17, 2017
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  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend

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    You can always get rid of staff - by letting them go if under 2 years, by redundancy over 2 years etc.

    Zero hour contracts can work against you too - the employee can tell you no regarding working when you want.
     
    Posted: Feb 25, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  3. Infinite Clean

    Infinite Clean UKBF Newcomer

    17 1
    Thank you @Mr D.
    Yes we realise zero hours can work against us but what we were worried about is, should something change and we can't guarantee/provide the hours stated in the contract - is it just a case of saying 'sorry there's no work' and letting the person go?
     
    Posted: Feb 25, 2019 By: Infinite Clean Member since: Apr 17, 2017
    #3
  4. Prime81

    Prime81 UKBF Contributor

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    I work a zero hours bank contract. Even though I work the same hours every week I know they can say any time there are no hours for me and I don't have a job.
     
    Posted: Feb 25, 2019 By: Prime81 Member since: Jan 23, 2018
    #4
  5. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Legend

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    If you employ someone on the same work and the same hours week in and week out, they are not on a zero hours contract, whatever the paperwork says.
     
    Posted: Feb 25, 2019 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
    #5
  6. Infinite Clean

    Infinite Clean UKBF Newcomer

    17 1
    Thank you @Newchodge . It would be the same amount of hours, just likely on different days to start with, with the option to gain more hours later on.
    So if we wrote in the contract that it is 5hrs per week - days of work to be arranged every Friday (for example) and the work finished, is it as @Mr D said and we can just say 'sorry, there is no work' and let them go?

    We aren't trying to make this complicated or anything, we just want to make sure that we are covered as is our employee.
     
    Posted: Feb 26, 2019 By: Infinite Clean Member since: Apr 17, 2017
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  7. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Legend

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    If you have a downturn in work and no longer justify employing someone you can (after a proper process which can take 24 hours) dismiss them for redundancy. If they have been continuously employed for more than 2 years you would have to pay a redundancy payment. Less than 2 years, you would not.

    You could also include in your contract a clause that they can be temporarily laid off if there is no work - useful if there might be short periods without work.
     
    Posted: Feb 26, 2019 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
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  8. Infinite Clean

    Infinite Clean UKBF Newcomer

    17 1
    Thank you @Newchodge! I have never heard of that being put into a contract before so that is useful to know.
    We know that every 6-8weeks our work schedule changes due to our client - could we use that clause in this instance or could we say that they would be required to take their holiday entitlement during the quiet period and should it last longer than expected then they may be temporarily laid off?
     
    Posted: Feb 26, 2019 By: Infinite Clean Member since: Apr 17, 2017
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  9. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Legend

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    You could, but it depends how long the down time is, and also whether your employee would agree to it - a contract is a agreement between 2 parties. If you put too much of the 'risk' on the employee and take none in the business, you may struggle to recruit or retain staff.
     
    Posted: Feb 26, 2019 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
    #9
  10. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Legend

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    Posted: Feb 26, 2019 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
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  11. Infinite Clean

    Infinite Clean UKBF Newcomer

    17 1
    Oh of course, we wouldn't push all of the risk onto our employee, we just want to ensure that legally we and they are completely covered. We know that our schedule changes for between 1-2weeks every 6-8weeks but there is still the risk that our client could decide to leave.
    Thank you for the information about short term lay offs. Very helpful.
     
    Posted: Feb 26, 2019 By: Infinite Clean Member since: Apr 17, 2017
    #11
  12. obscure

    obscure UKBF Legend

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    Maybe you should be out looking for clients who are able to commit to a more stable relationship. That would eliminate the risk to your business and you wouldn't then need to offload that risk onto your employees.
     
    Posted: Feb 27, 2019 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
    #12
  13. Infinite Clean

    Infinite Clean UKBF Newcomer

    17 1
    Thanks for the input @obscure. I am doing exactly that but I wanted to ensure that when I am employing someone, I am making sure that everyone is covered from a legal position. I am highly doubtful that I will lose all of my clients overnight but I was just running through the worst case scenario so that I can be prepared should it ever arise.
     
    Posted: Feb 27, 2019 By: Infinite Clean Member since: Apr 17, 2017
    #13
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