One of the important recent changes to employment law relates to compensation for staff whose shifts get cancelled without reasonable notice.
Details of how much notice an employer will give to the employee in these circumstances and the compensation rate for lack of reasonable notice must be included in written employment agreements. There is a 12 month window from 1 April 2016 to update existing agreements.
It is important to know that if a shift is cancelled at the start of, or during the work, the employee is entitled to their full pay including holiday pay accrual.
An employer won’t be able to request staff to be available for work outside their agreed shift hours without a genuine reason and paying them reasonable compensation.
- now guarantee agreed hours of work for each employee.
- not make unreasonable deductions from pay and the employee must be consulted.
- not unreasonably restrict employee’s from working other jobs.
These terms must also be covered in written employment agreements.
To determine what is “reasonable” these key points need to be considered:-
- The type of industry.
- the impact on the employee.
- the current working arrangement including the guaranteed hours in place.
- the employee’s rate of pay.
- what is specified as the agreed notice period.
- how much the employee would have earned for the cancelled shift.
- if there is a cost to the employee to prepare for the shift.
The new law is intended to make employment practices fairer including banning zero contract hours. It acknowledges that shift workers need some certainty in order to plan their lives and finances.