Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Directly employing individuals during Industrial Action in Schools

Directly employing individuals

Whilst the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003, prevent a supply agency from supplying teachers employed by the agency to cover absence during industrial action - an employer can directly employ individuals to cover employees on strike.
An employment agency can supply these workers, as long as the employer - such as a school or local authority (LA) - directly employs them.
In employing someone for a day, a school or LA would need to consider:
  • Employment contract - the moment an applicant unconditionally accepts an offer of a job, a contract of employment comes into existence.
    The terms can be oral, written, implied, or a mixture. If no written contract is issued there is a legal obligation to provide the employee with a written statement of employment within two months of the start of their employment.
    In the event of employing someone for one day, it would be advisable to issue a fixed term contract clearly setting out the length of the employment.
  • Pay - the employer needs to tell anyone they employ the day/date they would be paid, and how they will receive payments.
    The employer may need to check with their payroll provider on how to do this.
  • Insurance - Employers Liability Insurance will already be in place, so employers would not need to do anything further.

  • Under the terms of the Teachers Pension Scheme, a teacher employed for only one day would be entitled to the same pension benefits as other employees.
General employment rights would apply.

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