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How to employ an individual on a casual or zero hours contract

Author: Elizabeth Stevens

Brightmine editor: Susie Munro


Click on any of the hyperlinks to go to more detailed guidance below.

  • Consider if engaging workers on a casual or zero hours contract is appropriate for the requirements of your business.
  • Be aware that exclusivity terms in zero hours contracts are unenforceable.
  • Ensure that contracts for casual and zero hours staff are carefully drafted and tailored to cover the arrangements between the parties, including a clear statement that the employer has no obligation to offer work.
  • Take into account the holiday entitlement of casual and zero hours staff.
  • Be alert to the risk that engaging individuals under casual or zero hours contracts could give rise to an employment relationship, even if this is not the original intention.
  • Familiarise yourself with the differences between "worker" and "employee" status and the statutory rights that attach to each status.
  • Remember that employees and workers are protected under equality and whistleblowing legislation.
  • Consider whether or not it may be beneficial to accept the existence of employment status from the outset of the working relationship, while retaining the flexibility of a zero hours contract.
  • Review the zero hours and casual contract arrangements on a regular basis and ensure that your contracts reflect what happens in practice.