Contract types and employer responsibilities

Full-time and part-time contracts

As an employer you must give employees:

  • a written statement of employment or contract
  • the statutory minimum level of paid holiday
  • a payslip showing all deductions, such as National Insurance contributions (NICs)
  • the statutory minimum length of rest breaks
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • maternity, paternity and adoption pay and leave

You must also:

  • make sure employees do not work longer than the maximum allowed
  • pay employees at least the minimum wage
  • have employer’s liability insurance
  • provide a safe and secure working environment
  • register with HM Revenue and Customs to deal with payroll, tax and NICs
  • consider flexible working requests
  • avoid discrimination in the workplace
  • make reasonable adjustments to your business premises if your employee is disabled

Fixed-term contracts

Fixed-term contracts:

  • last for a certain length of time
  • are set in advance
  • end when a specific task is completed
  • end when a specific event takes place

Fixed-term employees must receive the same treatment as full-time permanent staff.

Find out more about fixed-term employees’ rights, and what to do about renewing or ending a fixed-term contract.


Agency staff

As an employer, you can hire temporary staff through agencies. This means:

  • you pay the agency, including the employee’s National Insurance contributions (NICs) and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • it’s the agency’s responsibility to make sure workers get their rights under working time regulations
  • after 12 weeks’ continuous employment in the same role, agency workers get the same terms and conditions as permanent employees, including pay, working time, rest periods, night work, breaks and annual leave
  • you must provide the agency with information about the relevant terms and conditions in your business so that they can ensure the worker gets equal treatment after 12 weeks in the same job
  • you must allow agency workers to use any shared facilities (for example a staff canteen or childcare) and give them information about job vacancies from the first day they work there
  • you are still responsible for their health and safety




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