We have explored the common options for employing temporary workers and below are a few tips to ensure you ‘remain legal’ this summer.


Rights depend on status, a ‘worker’ is entitled to National Minimum Wage / Living Wage, holidays, sick pay etc. They are a ‘worker’ if:

  • They have a contract to do work for a reward (i.e. money or a promise of future work) -written or not!
  • You are providing tools or equipment they need to work

Rights don’t apply if they are:

  • On school placement or a higher education student that is required to work for less than a year
  • Work shadowing (only observing)
  • A voluntary worker as part of a body or charity etc.

Tip: Not all interns are ‘free’… Make sure you clarify both your and their expectations and exact role prior to taking anyone on this basis.

Agency Workers

You are still responsible for their health and safety, and they are entitled from day one to access the same:

  • Shared facilities
  • Information about vacancies within your business
  • Terms and conditions after 12 weeks’ continuous employment in the same role (i.e. pay)

Tip: Provide the agency with information about the relevant terms and conditions so they can ensure the worker gets equal treatment after 12 weeks. You can also ask the agency how they monitor compliance and propose to manage the additional obligations that apply after 12 weeks.

Fixed-term contracts

They are entitled to the same benefits and facilities as permanent staff. If the contract mentions nothing about being ended early, you can be in breach of contract should you decide to end the contract earlier than expected.

Tip: Make sure you put a clause into the fixed term contract to allow for earlier termination (i.e. for poor performance).

If you would like support on hiring temporary workers this summer get in touch

For more information on any of the above, check out the following websites:

GOV: https://www.gov.uk/contract-types-and-employer-responsibilities/agency-staff


ACAS: https://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4468