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Blog  »  January 2023
Jan 23

Posted by
Saoirse Moloney

The Benefits of Hiring Seasonal Workers

Seasonal workers are usually encountered in the tourism, hospitality, construction and agricultural industries, mostly in the summer months but they can also be hired in the lead-up to Christmas too to assist with the busy period.

Some may think that seasonal workers are unskilled and a lower-paid alternative to permanent employees, however, that is not the case. There are many benefits to seasonal workers such as:

  • Meet business demand and customer expectations: seasonal employees provide you with the flexibility to increase the size of your team during peak trading periods so that you can continue to provide customers with the service they expect even during busy times.
  • Improve morale for the permanent team: you can’t expect your permanent employees to start working double shifts or deferring their annual leave. It’s best practice to ensure that there is sufficient cover for this annual leave.
  • Meets skills shortage: temporary workers can help fill the gap with a particular skill shortage during busy periods.
  • Return year on year: many seasonal workers are happy to return to work for the same company each year- which is a win for both the employer and the employee.

Legal obligations as an employer

A temporary, seasonal worker hired under a fixed-term contract is entitled to the same working conditions and the same legal rights as permanent employees.

Your main obligations are to:

  • Ensure every employee has the right to work
  • Provide a Contract of employment
  • Pay at least the national minimum wage
  • Provide a payslip
  • Ensure that the employees’ working week does not exceed 48 hours

A contract of employment for a seasonal worker will be largely the same as for a permanent employee. However, a fixed-term contract will need to have an end date.

Posted in Employee Contracts, Employee Handbook, Employment Law

Jan 23

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Bills on the horizon for 2023?

With 2022 having now come to a close, we look forward to the key developments that will shape the UK employment legal landscape in 2023 and beyond.

A new set of employment rights

2023 looks set to be a busy year on the legislative front with a number of bills currently making their way through Parliament, which are likely to become law during 2023/2024. These include:

  • The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill 2022-23: Once passed, this bill will allow regulations to be introduced that will extend the existing redundancy protections to women on maternity leave, so that women's pregnancy protections are also available for a period of six months after they return to work. The same enhanced protections will also be available to those employees on adoption or shared parental leave. The bill's progress can be tracked here.
  • Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill 2022-23: This bill will require employers to (i) take reasonable measures to prevent employees from suffering harassment from third parties (such as customers or clients) during the course of their employment; and

    (ii) require employers to take all reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment of employees while on the job. Sexual harassment compensation can be increased by up to 25% if this duty is breached. You can track the progress of the bill here.

  • The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill 2022-23: Will enhance employees' rights to request flexible work by (i) allowing employees to make a maximum of two flexible working requests during a 12-month period; and

    (ii) Employers must consult with employees before refusing flexible working requests. The bill's progress can be tracked here.

  • Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill 2022-23: As a result of this Bill, parents of neonatal care recipients, or those who have received neonatal care, will be entitled to a minimum of one week of neonatal care leave that can be taken up to 68 weeks after delivery. Employees will have this right from day one, regardless of their service length. Furthermore, employees who take the leave will be protected from dismissal or detriment. In addition, employees with at least 26 weeks’ service, will be entitled to be paid for the neonatal care leave at the prescribed rate. You can track the progress of the bill here.
  • Carers Leave Bill 2022-23: Upon passing, the Secretary of State will be able to create new regulations defining an employee's right to carer's leave. An eligible employee will be entitled to unpaid carer's leave of at least one week within a 12-month period for caring for a dependent, such as a spouse, civil partner, child or parent. As with neonatal care leave, the right to carer's leave will be a day one right that protects workers from dismissal or detriment. It is expected that the Bill will pass in 2023, and the Regulations will follow in 2024. You can track the bill's progress here.
  • Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill 2022-23: Upon passing, this Bill will compel employers to distribute tips, service charges, and gratuities fairly among their employees. A written policy setting out how employers allocate qualifying tips among their employees will also be required, as well as keeping, and sharing, records of qualifying tips received and allocated between employees if requested by the government. It is important to note that the Bill will only apply to tips received by employers or controlled by them - it will not apply directly to cash tips paid to workers. The bill's progress can be tracked here.

Despite not knowing the exact timeline for implementation of the Bills above, each is set to begin its report stage by the end of February 2023. Royal Assent is therefore expected in 2023, and secondary legislation is likely to follow in 2024.


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