Casual work

Article reviewed: 2013/01/23 | Next review due: 2014/08/11

The other way employers deal with a variable workload is by offering contracts only when they need it (these are also called performance contracts, or may also be fixed term contracts).

Employers may employ employees on a series of short term contracts, usually lasting for about a year, but always less than one or two years, to try to avoid the employee gaining employment rights. They may also employ the employee only during a particular season, for example, during the summer to pick fruit, but the employee may be expected to go back and work for that employer each year during that season.

If you have been employed on a series of short term contracts, or if you are a seasonal worker, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, a Citizens-Advice-Bureau.

Some employers call their workers casual workers in order to avoid having to give them what they are entitled to under employment law. Even if your employer says you are a casual worker, this doesn't mean that you are.

To find out what rights you have if your employer says you are a casual worker, you should consult the Citizens Advice Bureau.

The employer must be clear whether it offers continuity in employment by renewing contracts, or if a series of contracts would be regarded as independent of each other.

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