Casual workers

Casual workers are people working under ‘as and when needed’ arrangements. They work in ‘stints’, often with gaps in between them. They are different from agency workers because their contracts, whatever they are, are made directly with the employer and not via an agency.

 

They will usually (if they have to do the work personally) have the status of a worker and so be entitled to the same rights that other workers have such as holiday pay and minimum wage.

  

Where the other elements of an employment contract exist then casual workers may also be able to show they are employees.  This is important because it will mean they are entitled to the rights associated with employment status such as unfair dismissal.

 

Casual workers can show employee status in two ways:

  • That during the time that they are actually working all the elements of employee status apply so they will be an employee during that 'stint'.  If they work stints on a frequent basis they may be able link the stints together to create sufficient continuity of employment which is needed to claim some rights.  However the employment contract will usually not extend after the stint finishes because there is no obligation on the employer or the employee to offer or accept further work.

 

  • In some cases an employee may be able to show that there is some mutual obligation that exists between stints through an over-arching, or ‘umbrella’ contract of employment.  This will usually depend on the employee showing that in reality there was an expectation that they would be available for work and not refuse it when offered. 

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Employment Law Glossary

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Zero increases by 26%

The Office for National Statistics has released new figures that show nearly 700,000 people work on zero hours contracts - up 26% from last year.  The problems caused by these contracts will require a significant change in the law.

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