Casual Worker Contract (zero hours)

Casual Worker Contract (zero hours)


This document should be used in situations where the nature of your business means that you are unable to predict exactly how many staff you need to work at any one time. This agreement is similar to a normal contract of employment in that it sets out rights and levels of wages etc, but it makes clear that you cannot guarantee any set hours that the worker will be required to work.

These sort of contracts are often used in seasonal or retail working environments where business can reduce at certain periods. Although some controversy has been associated with the use of zero hours contracts, they are an effective way for small business that rely on seasonal business to manage their staffing levels whilst ensuring that they remain profitable.


You should consider the following:

  • Will the worker be required to work at various locations? If so, specify where they may be needed to work. You may want to state that the worker may be required to work at a number of locations at short notice and that you reserve the right to deploy staff where you choose.
  • How and when will the worker be informed of the hours they will be asked to work?
  • How long will their lunch break be? Will it be paid or unpaid? Remember that there are legal requirements for breaks etc that you must adhere to.
  • Does the employee want to opt in or out of the 48 working hour week regulations? – the law says that the maximum an employer can ask an employee to work is 48 hours a week. However, the employee can waive this restriction. If so you may want to include some advice about the 48 hour working week restriction within the contract.
  • What will the notice period be – normal contracts of employment have at least 1 month written notice period within the contract – as the employee isn’t guaranteed hours, you may wish to reflect this by being more flexible – 1 week notice?

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