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What type of employment contract should I be using?

That’s a question we’re often asked – what type of employment contract should I be using?

In a nutshell, the type of employment contract you need to use depends on the circumstances of each situation, what working pattern you want the person to have, how many hours work you want to guarantee to pay them for and how long you want the contract to last.

Here are the main contracts you can choose:

Permanent contract

Used when you want to offer a permanent position to an employee.  It can be full-time or part-time and it’s an arrangement you expect to carry on without a definitive end date in mind.  This type of contract usually includes a probationary period for you and the employee to decide if they’re right for the role and if the role’s right for them.

Temporary or fixed-term contract

Used when you know that the arrangement has a definite end date in mind.  This is generally for a situation when you take someone on to work on a particular project or piece of work and is usually the best kind of contract to use for situations like maternity cover or long term sickness cover.

Zero hours contract

Used when you know the amount of work on offer will vary from week to week.  This kind of contract works best when both you and the employee want flexibility in the working arrangements.  However, just as you cannot guarantee work to the employee, they don’t have to guarantee their availability to work so they may not always be able or willing to take on work when offered.

Contract for services

Not actually an employment contract at all.  This contract should be used when you want to employ the services of a contractor without actually employing him or her.  The contract should clearly explain the services being agreed upon and the invoicing arrangements so there is no potential for the contractor to be considered an employee of your business.

Struggling to understand what type of contract to use in what circumstances?  Get in touch and ask us for more information.

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