Christmas is coming, which could mean a sudden surge in demand for your business. If you need some extra help, temporary workers can be the ideal solution to save you stress without committing to taking on additional permanent staff. Bearing this in mind, we have set out below some key considerations for your business when recruiting temporary workers.
Employers must be aware of the rights of temporary staff and be sure not to fall foul of the law when employing workers on a short-term basis. If the period that a temporary worker is employed extends to 12 months or longer, temporary staff will be given more employment rights. On the first anniversary of employment the employee obtains the right to claim unfair dismissal, even though their employment is still intended to be temporary in nature.
It is also crucial that employers understand that many employment rights that apply to permanent staff also apply to temporary employees. A good example is that they have the right to a written contract within two months of starting employment. Working conditions must be the same for temporary workers as they are for permanent employees, including:
- Annual leave (though calculated on a pro-rata basis)
- Rates of pay
- Rest periods
- Tax arrangements
In addition, temporary employees have the right to take a discrimination claim in relation to areas such as age and race. It is important for employers to treat temporary staff in the same way as they would do a permanent employee to avoid any issues arising.
If you prefer to pass the paperwork and payment responsibilities onto a third party, then you have the option of hiring your temporary staff via an agency. In this event, their employment rights will be in line with Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act 2012– The Act provides that all temporary agency workers must receive equal treatment in basic working and employment conditions as if they had been directed recruited by the hirer.
For further information in this area, you should refer to our guideline on seasonal workers or temporary agency workers. For specific queries regarding the above, you should contact Ciara McGuone, SFA Executive, on 01 605 1668.