Zero-Hour Contract Template
With everything that’s happened in the world over the last couple of years, small businesses are relishing the opportunity to hire casual workers.
With favourable employment terms for employers, zero hour contracts are the key to solving your company’s seasonal staffing issues.
Zero hour contracts are a type of employment contract where the worker is not guaranteed a set number of hours to work per month. Importantly, they are only paid for the hours that they do work.
The worker does also have some power too, though.
That is to say – your business has no obligation to offer work but the worker has no obligation to accept, either.
In addition, whenever you’re employing people – you need to be aware of sick pay, holiday entitlement, notice periods and more.
There’s no need to become a legal expert overnight – our zero hours employment contract template includes all of the main clauses you need to cover.
What are the Benefits of a Zero Hours Contract?
If you’re a small business hiring new staff for the first time, zero hour contracts are incredibly useful.
You might not be certain enough of your own income, or are still getting used to when the busy and quieter periods fall.
It’s normal to lack the confidence to employ full time staff when you’re first starting out. You’ll be responsible for paying their wages no matter what your income, after all.
Even more established businesses experience peaks and troughs – think busy summer and Christmas periods. They need help with demand during those times but the business just wouldn’t work if they had the expense of that help year round.
Pitfalls to Avoid?
If you want to hire new staff on the zero hour contract model – you cannot ask that they only work for you. This is also known as non-exclusivity.
Imagine if you were asked to sit at home waiting for the phone to ring with the offer of work, which it might only do a couple of times a month. You’d want to have other options available too, so that you can work as much as possible.
This is probably what you’ve heard about zero hour contracts in the news. The terms and conditions of the contracts were analysed in parliament not too long ago, and some called for the employment terms to be banned altogether. They claimed that the work offered was not enough for people to make a living.
Ultimately, a compromise was met where casual workers under this type of contract were allowed to work for multiple employers at one time.
With that in mind, it might be better to build a larger pool of workers so that you can confidently find someone able to work each time you reach out.
Completing the Zero-Hour Contract Template
We’ve prepared an easy to fill out template which you can download and use for free.
Most zero hour contracts these days take the form of the letter – this is a simple way to get the offer of employment letter and set out the terms and conditions in just one document.
Complete your company’s contact information at the top of the letter and print it out on company letter headed paper.
There are certain aspects of the law which you need to be made aware of. Zero-hour workers are entitled to some of the same rights as full time workers.
You must pay them at least the minimum wage or national living wage, depending on the location of your business.
You must also arrange for paid holiday entitlement and sick pay.
Finally, how do you end (or terminate) a zero hours contract?
If you don’t have to offer work at any time, you might imagine that the contract can just continue forever
However, things do come up and you might want to let someone know you won’t need their help again.
A recent case to go through the courts decided that workers could resign in the same way as full-time employees and that if you want to end the contract, you need to do so in writing and ideally give a months’ notice.
The zero hours contract template therefore includes a clause on termination. Workers must give you two weeks’ notice if they want to leave and you will attempt to give them one weeks’ notice.
Usual laws on unfair dismissal still apply to this contract. You obviously can’t discriminate against someone’s age, gender, religion and so on. You also can’t terminate a contract because of a personality clash. There needs to be a solid business reason to do so.
Zero-Hour Contract Template
Read instructions on filling out this template above
Download: Microsoft Word
Zero Hour Contract Summary
Overall, the template we’ve created is very simple to use and there’s really no need to overcomplicate it further.
Your role as an employer when hiring staff is to set out your expectations clearly, and set out what the worker can expect – namely pay, holiday and working conditions.