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 Clarkslegal LLP to bring you a free zero hours contract template.
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Clarkslegal provides legal tools and templates to help you take control of your company’s journey. 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 Clarkslegal to bring you quality, relevant legal documentation that you can customise to fit your individual needs.
Until recently, zero hours contracts 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. They are paid only for the hours they work.
In the draft contract attached, however, the worker is not obliged to accept all or any of the work you offer them.
At present, that there is no fixed answer to the issue of employment status of someone 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 contract 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.
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.
In our template, words in square brackets will need to be replaced or altered to match with the 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.
If you would like to make changes and don’t have Adobe Acrobat, you can also download our zero hours template in Word format.
The attached 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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