Partner Susan Thompson discusses term-time contracts and employers' obligation to provide equal opportunities and fair treatment to their employees, regardless of their contract type, in International Employment Lawyer.
“If employees are only working in term time, there will need to be agreement between the parties about when holiday can be taken and how it accrues – particularly if hours are irregular. Employers may choose to require employees to take their holiday outside of term time."
Susan warns that communicating with staff on extended holiday can also be difficult: “This would be particularly problematic if the employer needed to make redundancies or needed to implement any significant companywide changes. Employers may need to be able to require employees to respond to messages, or even attend meetings in non-working time, in certain circumstances.”
Susan suggests, though, that these contracts may not suit all employees: “However, if this is about attracting good staff, employment status may be more likely to attract more dedicated people who want certainty going forward – and limit staff turnover.
“Employers must remain mindful of providing equal opportunities and fair treatment to all employees, regardless of their working patterns”.