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Q and A with Metis HR

Author: Alison Driver, Metis HR Published: 11th July 2012 09:37

Metis HR comes across many and varied employment ‘situations', however, there are several recurring themes that employers need help to understand.

Alison Driver, Metis HR in RossendaleHR advice from Alison Driver of Metis HR,
based in Rossendale

With the wedding and holiday season looming I have had a number of requests from landlords and employers engaging workers to cover holidays of permanent staff to clarify their legal status.
Q: What is the status of workers used on a casual basis?

A: Workers employed on a casual basis or a zero hours contract are paid only for the work done. The employee can gain continuity of employment and claim unfair dismissal and redundancy pay if the pattern of work becomes regular. To avoid disputes employers should make it clear in the employment contract that they use whether there is a continuing employment or whether there is a series of separate contracts.

Q: When does a temporary or casual worker become an employee?

A: This is not an easy question to answer. Strangely is can depend on recruiting staff to help for example at busy times of year or when there are shortages of staff knowing that they might actually not be available when you need them! This underscores the fact that they are not employees.

If an employer provides work on specified days or at specific times on the worker understanding that he/she will turn up for work the relationship is more likely to be interpreted as that of employer and employee.

Q: Does an employer have to pay casual workers holiday pay?

A: Yes. Every worker (whether an employee or otherwise) is entitled to 5.6 weeks' paid annual holiday (pro rata for part time workers). Often with casual workers they are paid for accrued holiday at the end of their work.

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