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Seasonal staff – workers or employees? Know your legal obligations

Christmas StockingWith Halloween passed and Bonfire Night almost upon us; many employers’ thoughts turn to the festive period and whether or not seasonal staff are required to cover the busy period.

 

If they are; it’s important that you need to know the difference between being an “employee” or a “temporary worker” so you meet your legal obligations.

 

So how do you know the difference? To determine into which category your seasonal staff fall; you need to know if they meet the majority of certain criteria shown here on the Government website – you can look at it as a checklist exercise.

 

If they fulfil the majority of the list; they’re an employee of the company. However, if they tick very few of these “boxes” then they may be classed as a ‘worker’ or as self-employed.

 

Remember that a “worker” will typically carry out similar duties as an employee, but with fewer rights; so given the different rights afforded to an employee and not a worker, it’s vital you understand your role when taking on any temporary worker over any seasonal period.

 

Unsure of the rights of employees or workers? See this helpful guide on Employment Status via the Government website

Don’t forget…

Immigration Act 2016: English-language requirement for customer-facing workers in the public sector
Autumn 2016

 

Section 77 of the Immigration Act 2016 introduces a new requirement that workers in the public sector in customer-facing roles speak fluent English. The English-language requirement also applies to agency workers where the public-sector body is the hirer; so make sure your agency is aware of their obligations. The Government has published a draft code of practice that provides further guidance for employers – click here to view the document via the Government website.

 

Increase to salary threshold for tier 2 migrant workers to £25,000
Autumn 2016

 

Sponsoring employers recruiting migrant workers under tier 2 of the points-based immigration system must pay those workers a minimum salary. This change is being phased in with an increase to £25,000 in autumn 2016, rising to £30,000 in April 2017. Nurses, radiographers, paramedics and secondary school teachers in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science and Mandarin are exempt from the increases until July 2019. The minimum threshold for new entrants will remain at £20,800.

 

In addition, a new immigration skills charge is introduced on sponsoring employers employing tier 2 migrant workers at a rate of £1,000 per migrant worker per year, with a reduced rate of £364 applying to small and charitable organisations. The charge is to incentivise employers and reduce their reliance on migrant workers and to invest in the training and up-skilling of UK workers.

 





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