As and when workers


1.   Purpose

1.1.   The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines on when the use of ‘As and When’ workers is appropriate and what conditions will apply if they are engaged.

2.   Policy Statement

2.1.   The Council’s use of ‘As and When’ (or ‘casual’, the terms are used interchangeably in this document) workers will reflect the most appropriate and cost effective provision where additional labour is temporarily required. Managers will determine when the use of “As and When” workers is appropriate.

2.2.   Whilst the nature of their engagement means ‘As and When’ workers are not normally entitled to receive the full complement of employment benefits afforded to Harrow Council employees..

2.3.   Casual workers are entitled to remuneration levels in line with employees carrying out similar duties, as well as other workers’ rights as stipulated by law. Casual workers are also entitled to join the Local Government Pension Scheme (although their enrolment onto the Scheme is not automatic).

2.4.   Casual workers with a current and valid agreement for As and When work may apply for internal-only Council vacancies for permanent/fixed-term work.

3.   Scope

3.1.   This policy and procedure covers 'As and When' or casual workers who work under a framework agreement, on short term assignments, usually of no more than a few days at a time.  It does not cover temporary, agency, interim staff or consultants.


1.   When to use 'As and When' Workers

1.1.   On a flexible, irregular or infrequent basis, to cover sudden peaks in work or staff shortages for example sickness absence and annual leave.

1.2.   For short periods with frequent breaks in employment, to undertake specific activities which are short term and fulfil specific requirements. 

1.3.   Not to provide cover for longer periods, e.g. maternity leave, when temporary cover will be provided by employees issued with temporary/fixed term contracts.

2.   Determining the Status of ‘As and When’ Workers

2.1.   ‘As and when’ workers do not have employment status at any time, including during periods when they are working. There is no obligation for the Council to offer, or for them to accept, any work assignment, and assignments can be terminated at any time by either of the parties.

2.2.   The questions a manager should ask are:

  •    Do I consider myself obliged to offer work to this individual if it is available?
  •    Do I consider that, if I make that offer, the individual is obliged to come in and perform that work?

2.2.  If the answers to the above questions are positive, mutuality of obligation may exist, in which case the individual should be engaged as a Harrow Council employee instead of an ‘As and When’ worker. If there appears to be mutuality of obligation, advice should be sought from HR as it is likely that a contract of employment will need to be issued.       

3.   Recruitment of 'As and When' Workers

3.1.   'As and When' workers will be recruited in accordance with the Recruitment and Selection Code of Practice; 

3.2.   Appointments will be subject to satisfactory references and other relevant employment checks e.g. satisfactory references and DBS checks when covering posts which required a criminal records check. Responsibility for those checks will rest with line management in the appointing service area

3.3.   Once appointed, it will not be necessary to apply the Recruitment and Selection procedure to future engagements as an ‘As and When’ worker, as long as the worker’s duties are similar to those for which they were initially recruited. If, however, a requirement for the work to become regular is envisaged and one or more vacancies are established within the Council’s organisational structure, casual workers will need to apply for it on the same terms as external applicants. Managers need to be mindful of the provisions of the Recruitment and Selection Policy of the Council with regards to priority being given to Harrow Council redeployees, guaranteed interviews offered to disabled applicants who meet all essential criteria for a role etc.

3.4.   Managers will ensure that ‘As and When’ workers are appropriately inducted to the workplace.

4.   Terms and Conditions for 'As and When' Workers

4.1.   The nature of ‘As and When’ working means that these workers are not entitled to benefits which are earned through continuous service, e.g. right to claim unfair dismissal, redundancy pay etc., however, these workers will be:

4.2.   Paid at the same rate as permanent employees carrying out the same duties- normally that will be at the bottom of the applicable grade, as no incremental progression applies due to lack of continuity of service.

4.3.   Entitled to receive paid holiday leave based on the hours they work. This normally amounts to 12.07% of their basic pay. Managers should try to encourage, insofar as reasonably practicable, as and when workers to occasionally take some time off work for leisure/relaxation purposes.

4.4.   Covered by the requirements of the Working Time Regulations 1998 and other relevant legislation in respect of weekly maximum working hours, daily and weekly rest breaks. Managers will need to ensure that these requirements are clearly explained to any workers they engage, and that any work that they do outside of the Council is appropriately factored into their calculations. Furthermore, managers need to be aware of any additional working hours/rest requirements imposed on certain categories of work, e.g. driving heavy vehicles.

4.5.   Entitled to protection under the Equality Act 2010 which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, gender reassignment or pregnancy or maternity, and covered by the Council’s policies on equality and diversity.

4.6.   Afforded protection under currently applicable Health and Safety and Whistleblowing legislation and relevant Council policies.

4.7.   Covered by the Council’s Employer Liability Insurance.

4.8.   Entitled to receive training to ensure they are able to carry out their duties effectively, and

4.9.   Entitled to opt into the Local Government Pension Scheme and contribute in line with the amount of work carried out or the earnings received.

4.10. HR Operations is responsible for issuing contracts for casual workers.  

5.   Managers responsibilities

5.1.   Managers should be aware that  'As and When' workers may accrue certain employment protection rights in respect of unfair dismissal, maternity leave and  redundancy payments etc.

5.2.   It is important that managers regularly review the use of 'As and When' workers in their service area to ensure there is a continued business need for a casual worker.

5.3.   Managers are advised to contact HR if there is a concern or any doubts about whether a worker’s engagement complies with the “As and When” criteria.