It’s the 4th of December and it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Look behind door number 4 of my employment law advent calen-deer to find out who or what is there Claus I said so!
It’s a pair of elf shoes.
Remember, the poor elves in Santa’s workshop having to work long hours to keep up with the increase in production? And Santa’s headache trying to stay on the right side of the Working Time Regulation’s 1998? Well, Santa has decided to recruit temporary staff. He needs more elf shoes on the ground and quick, but the fact that it’s the season of goodwill will not excuse him if doesn’t comply with employment laws.
If you, like Santa, are looking to take on temporary staff this Christmas here’s a few things to think about:
- Temporary staff are employed for only limited periods of time but that doesn’t mean they don’t have employment rights. What rights they do have will depend on whether they are employees or workers (employees have more rights than workers), so be clear about the employment status of your staff from the outset.
- Both temporary employees and workers are entitled to written statement of particulars, to be paid at least the national minimum wage and to receive payslips, rest breaks and rest periods, and they must not work more than an average 48 hours a week or suffer from unlawful deduction from wages, and have whistleblowing and discrimination protection.
- Temporary staff are often employed on a fixed-term contract. An employee on a fixed term contract is protected against less favourable treatment compared to permanent employees meaning they must get the same pay and conditions and the same or equivalent benefits package as permanent staff and information about permanent vacancies.
- Where temporary workers are being retained for 12 weeks or more they qualify for the same rights as someone permanently employed to do the same job.
The simple message is don’t be tempted to treat temporary staff as a cheap alternative to employing permanent employees or you might find yourself on the naughty list.
Make sure you elf a merry little Christmas and contact a member of the Blackadders Employment Team working in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and across Scotland for help and advice.
Donna Reynolds, Partner
Accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a Specialist in Employment Law & Discrimination Law
The opinions expressed in this site are of the author(s) only and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Blackadders LLP.
Blackadders takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the content of this site is accurate and up to date. The site is not, however, intended as a substitute for seeking legal or other professional advice but rather as an informative guide to the services provided by Blackadders and topical legal developments. Site visitors should always seek advice tailored to their specific situation. Consequently, Blackadders accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by anyone acting or failing to act on the basis of information contained on this site. Downloading of material contained on this site is at the user’s own risk and all necessary virus checks must first be carried out by the user. Blackadders is not responsible for the material found on any web sites linked to this one and links to this site may only be made with Blackadders prior consent.
Blackadders owns the copyright in this blog and all material contained on it. The material on this site may be downloaded for personal use only and must not be altered. Otherwise, Blackadders’ written consent is required before any material on this site is reproduced, copied or transmitted in any way.
Information passed to us via this site is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties except if authorised by you or required by law.
© Blackadders LLP 2022
Members of the Law Society of Scotland.
Blackadders Solicitors is a trading name of Blackadders LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in Scotland No SO301600 whose registered office is 30 & 34 Reform Street, Dundee, DD1 1RJ. Reference to a ‘partner’ is to a member of Blackadders LLP.