Contract clause - zero hours contract template

If you run a small business, you may find that you only need to employ extra staff on an ad hoc basis. We’ve teamed up with elXtr by LHS Solicitors to bring you a free zero hours contract clause.

Zero hours contract template - free PDF or Word download

Enter your email address to start your download. Once you’ve filled that in you can select whether you want your template as a PDF or a Word document and it will be with you in moments.

Why use an elXtr template?

elXtr is an online legal portal designed particularly for the smallest of small businesses. Many small businesses find that they don’t need - or have the funds - to keep a lawyer on retainer, but when you do want legal advice, you want it to fit your needs as closely as possible.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with elXtr to bring you quality, relevant legal documentation that you can customise to fit your individual needs.

What is a zero hours contract?

Until recently, zero hours contacts were used to cover a variety of things and had no set legal definition.

However, since March 2015, for the purposes of exclusivity clauses, they have been defined as an employment or other workers contract, but one in which the employee is not guaranteed to be given any work by the business.

In practice, this means that if you have no work for someone on a zero hours contract to do, then there’s no need to pay them for a set number of hours just because they have a contract that says you must, but if work is made available, the worker undertakes to do that work.

In the draft clause attached, however, the worker in not obliged to accept all or any of the work you offer them.

What is the legal employment status of zero hours workers?

At present, that there is no fixed answer to the issue of employment status of someone with working on a zero hours contract.

In the eyes of the law, their employment status depends on the other terms in their contract as well as how they work in practice, such as frequency of hours and type of work undertaken.

The attached clause will often suggest that they are ‘workers’ rather than employees, although sometimes they will be classed as employees, especially if they work for you regularly and frequently for an extended period of time.

Benefits of using a zero hours contract

There are a number of benefits, both for employers and those on a zero hours contract, to using this type of employment structure as opposed to hiring in freelancers as and when you need them.

Firstly, it allows you to set out a clear legal framework for on-going employment, including performance reviews and grievance procedures. It can also help to establish a longstanding relationship with a worker, which could be beneficial further down the road.

For workers, they have more rights and legal protections, so it might prove a more appealing prospect than freelance or other temporary work.

How to use the zero hours contract sample

Our zero hours contract clause is designed to be included within a full contract defining how the work is done. If you don’t have one already, you can download the elXtr contract of employment template from our website.

When adding this clause to your existing contract you will need to remove anything that refers to set hours of work, as it will not only confuse your employees but make the situation legally complicated should they question the contract.

It may also be a good idea to remove references to ‘employment’ and replace with a term like ‘work’, as that will give you more flexibility – though as said, employment status depends on the way of working rather than just the contract.

In our template, the zero hours clause should replace section five. In both templates, words in italics will need to be replaced with specifics for your business.

When altering the contract make sure you read the whole thing through to check there are to conflicts or ambiguities, and if you’re unsure then consult a legal professional.

Download a PDF zero hours clause template.

Zero hours clause sample - free Microsoft Word document for download.

If you would like to make changes and don’t have Adobe Acrobat, you can also download our zero hours clause template in Word format.

The attached document has been produced by LHS so we can’t take responsibility for its contents. We’d recommend you take professional advice before making any important decisions based on its contents.

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