Hospitality businesses taking on temporary workers in the run-up to Christmas must ensure they are given the same rights and privileges as other staff or run the risk of employment tribunals, lawyers have warned.
Law firm DWF said hospitality, retail and other businesses which employ seasonal workers to cope with the sudden sharp increase in demand often fail to comply with employment legislation, leaving them open to action from employees.
The Fixed-Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 (the "regulations") protect employees who do seasonal work and typically have contracts for a specified period.
The regulations apply from the first day of employment, regardless of the number of hours worked.
Emma Harvey, partner at DWF said: "Temporary workers - other than agency staff -are still considered as employees in the eyes of the law and cannot be treated any less favourably than permanent staff doing the same type of job.
"Employers should not use their fixed-term status to avoid issuing them with an employment contract, or giving them paid holidays and similar benefits."
By Daniel Thomas