Full-time/ Part-time Contracts
A full-time/part time contract is a contract that discusses what the employee gets paid and what his/hers conditions will be. In a typical full time/part time contract there is a written statement of employment that seals the deal that the employee is working for the company. There is a statutory minimum level of paid holiday which means that they get time off from things such as bank holidays. There is a payslip showing the employee their wages after tax/national insurance. There is a statutory minimum length of rest breaks that tells the employee how many days that they can have off a year (not including bank holidays and sick pay). Sick pay is also discussed so the employee gets paid a certain amount of money they are off sick, also there is maternity (female), paternity (male) and adoption pay and leave. Maternity and paternity pay and leave is to take time off to look after a new-born baby. Adoption pay is to take time off to adopt a child or have a child through a surrogacy arrangement (agreed to carry a baby for other parents who can't have kids). In the games industry (or any industry) this is the contract used to hire full-time dedicated employees. Employees are crucial to a businesses work flow as without them, there is no business and a games company is no exception.
Employees have benefits like these and also responsibilities that the employers has to stick to such as they have to make sure that their employees don't work for the maximum amount of time allowed (48 hours a week) Employers have to pay their employees at least minimum wage for their associated age groups (25 and over- £7.20, 21 to 24- £6.95, 18-20- £5.55, Under 18-£4.00, Apprentice-£3.40) They have to provide a safe and secure work environment for their employees regardless of the job. They also have to register with HM Revenue and Customs to deal with payroll, tax and National Insurance ,consider flexible working requests (discuss start and finish times, working from home), avoid discrimination in the workplace as it would cause employees to leave and may be damaging to the company. They also have to make adjustments to the business premises if the employee is disabled. This could include wheelchair ramps, lifts etc.
A fixed-term contract is a contract that discuss how long they work for on a project. They are set in advance. They either end when a specific task is completed or when a specific event takes place. Fixed-term employees also must receive the same treatment as full-time permanent staff such as work in a safe working environment and paying them at least minimum wage. In the games industry, these kinds of employees are hired to complete certain tasks such as Voice Actors and QA Testers.
A freelancer contract is a contract that shows that they are self-employed or that they are part of another company. It shows that they often look after their own tax and national insurance contributions. Most of the freelancers are not entitled to the same rights and benefits as the main workers. An example would be minimum wage. Although they are not entitled to the same benefits and rights to the full-time workers, the employers are still responsible for their health and safety. In the games industry, these kinds of employees are hired to do some voice acting for game.
Zero hour contracts
Zero hour contracts are also known as casual contracts. Zero hours contract are usually for 'piece work' or 'on call' work. In a Zero Hour Contract the employer is not forced to provide any minimum working hours, while the worker is not forced to accept any work offered to them. The employer pays the employee money for completing the work that he/she accepted. In the games industry, a zero-hour contract employee is used to fill in if someone is sick. They could also be used as an extra work force during crunch time.
Employing family, young people and volunteers
If an employer hires a family member to work for them, they must avoid giving them special treatment as in extra pay, giving them promotions for no reason and giving them better working conditions. They have to make sure that tax and the National Insurance contributions. The employer has to follow the working times for younger family members (40 hours out of education, 12 hours while in education). They also need to check if they need to provide them with a workplace pension.
When hiring volunteers or voluntary staff employers have to give you training for the work you have to do. As always, they are responsible for your health and safety.
Employers can hire young people if they are at least the age of 13. With young people, there is special rules for how long they can work and what jobs that they can do. Once they reach 18, they are classed as an adult worker and normal rules apply. Employers have to follow these rules and also do a risk assessment before hiring the young workers.
As with most jobs, they have employments rights. These rights include maternity/ paternity pay if they manage to have a baby at their age. They have paid time off to study as they would be in some form of education. They also have redundancy pay and are paid at least minimum wage.
Some employers hire temporary staff from an agency. The employer is then responsible to pay the agency, this includes employee's National Insurance contributions and Statutory Sick Pay. The agency is responsible to make sure that the workers get their rights under working time regulations. After an member of staff that is from the agency has been working for over 12 weeks in the same role, the agency staff get the same terms and conditions as permanent employees. This includes pay, working hours, rest periods, night work, breaks and annual leave.
The employer must provide the agency with information about the relevant Terms and Conditions in his/hers business. This is so that the agency ensures that their worker is getting equal treatment after 12 weeks in the same job. The employer must allow the agency workers to use any of the businesses shared facilities. This includes a staff canteen or childcare. They also give them information about vacant jobs from the first day on the job there. As always, the employer is still responsible for the employees health and safety.