A workforce agreement is a key document for any small business that has employees. We’ve teamed up with Clarkslegal LLP to give you a customisable workforce agreement template to keep you in line with the Working Time Regulations.
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All small businesses need legal advice, but most cannot afford the in-house legal counsel that big firms rely on. Clarkslegal templates were made with small businesses in mind. Their documents are customisable so you can use to ensure that you have the legal frameworks that you need.
A workforce agreement sets out a deal between an employer and employees regarding working hours, such as night time working, rest periods, and similar provisions. It’s an important document that helps to structure the arrangement between employer and workforce.
You must publish the workforce agreement for your business in writing, and it must be available to all employees. It will apply either to all employees, or to employees in a certain group. However, it will not apply to employees for whom terms and conditions are covered by an existing ‘collective agreement’ (i.e. an agreement negotiated with a trade union, which can also modify these working time matters).
Your workforce agreement sets out how certain provisions of rules called the Working Time Regulations will be applied in your business. The Working Time Regulations are the way in which the EU Working Time Directive is implemented in UK law.
The Working Time Regulations set out some important rights for workers, including:
Your workforce agreement must abide by the rules set out in the Working Time Regulations; those that do not will not be legally valid.
Some businesses draft a separate workforce agreement for night workers, but you may choose to use our template for these workers too as it specifically modifies the definition of night work.
In some cases, different rules may apply for mobile workers. For those in certain sectors, for example road transport, the Working Time Regulations only apply to an extent – there are specific Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005, which include extra restrictions on what may be varied by agreement.
For peripatetic workers generally, the main issue is whether travel time counts – unlike workers with a fixed place of work, travel to and from the first appointment for a worker with no fixed place of work counts as travel time.
Workforce agreements must last for a specified period, as is provisioned in clause two of our workforce agreement sample. However, this period may not be longer than five years. You may well choose to revisit your agreement more frequently than this, particularly if the staffing needs of your business change often.
If you would like to make changes and don’t have Adobe Acrobat, you can also download our workforce agreement template in Word format.
This document has been produced by Clarkslegal 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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