Contract of Employment FAQs

These frequently asked questions are intended to accompany the contract of employment. They enable Brookson to explain the rationale behind the clauses contained in the contract.

 

Why have I been given a new contract of employment?

We have updated our contract of employment to reflect some new benefits available to employees, such as pensions and gap pay. The key items relating to your employment, how you are paid (how much you are paid), where you work etc all remain unchanged.

 

I only joined a short period ago, why have I got a new contract already?

For administrative ease, we pick a date upon which we change the contracts for all employees and so we capture everyone working with us on that date and use a new contract for new employees joining us from that date onwards.

The date we chose to roll out the new contract was 25 June 2013 and so everyone joining us after this date will receive the same employment contract which you have received.

 

Why have I been given a contract of employment?

You have been given a contract of employment as you are becoming an employee of Brookson and in doing so, Brookson are legally required to provide you with a written statement of the terms of your employment with us.

There are a number of items contained in the contract of employment which have been inserted to comply with the law. For example, paragraph 10 in relation to Collective Agreements. Whereas others; such as paragraph 26 in relation to Insurances, have been added to enable you to understand what you need to do as a Brookson employee.

You are required to sign a contract of employment with Brookson and, in turn, Brookson will sign a contract for the provision of services with your agency. You should not sign anything with your agency without discussing it with us first.

 

Why will my usual place of work vary? (CLAUSE 3.1)

Your usual place of work will vary depending on the assignment you are working on. No two assignments are identical and you may be asked to carry out work at a different site by your agency or end-client. The clause has been inserted to reflect this.

 

Why is my basic wage only Minimum Wage per hour? (CLAUSE 4.1)

It is a legal requirement that your contract of employment states the minimum rate at which you will be paid, as each assignment you undertake may have a different rate.

The rate will never fall below the National Minimum Wage. If the contract included your negotiated rate, the contract of employment would need to be re-issued each time a change in rate occurred. Due to the nature of contracting, this could result in increased administration for a simple change. We have therefore worded this clause to enable you to negotiate higher rates of pay without the need for us to issue new contracts each time you change assignment whilst ensuring that the contract remains accurate.

 

My agency pay weekly, but the contract states that I will be paid monthly, is this correct or should we amend the contract? (CLAUSE 4.7)

It is a legal requirement that your contract of employment states when you can expect to receive payment from your employer. As each assignment you undertake may mean that we are paid at different times by your agency, for example weekly, fortnightly or monthly, Brookson will adapt the payments to you to suit these arrangements. Therefore if your agency pays us weekly, Brookson will pay you weekly. Most agencies pay at least every month; hence this is reflected in your contract of employment.

If we inserted your payment intervals for each assignment, we would have to issue you with a new contract of employment each time to reflect any changes. Due to the nature of contracting, this could result in increased administration just in connection with changing assignment. Therefore, the clause has been worded in a way that enables you to negotiate your payment intervals, without the need to reissue a new contract of employment.

 

I work 37 hours per week. Why do I need to opt-out of the 48-hour working week? (CLAUSE 5.2)

Whilst your current assignment does not cause you to work an average of 48 hours or more during a 13-week period, this does not mean that your next assignment will be the same.

Most agencies will require you to sign a ‘Working Time Regulations 1998’ Opt-out form to enable you to work in excess of 48-hours per week should the need arise, often this obligation is also inserted into the contract between Brookson and the Agency.

This clause has been included into the contract to account for these circumstances. You can choose to withdraw your opt-out at any time, however, if you do this you will not be allowed to work over 48 hours per week even where your assignment may require it.

Please write to Brookson if you would like to withdraw your ‘Working Time Regulations 1998’ opt-out form.

 

What do I do if my client will not allow me to take rest breaks? (CLAUSE 5.4)

You must inform Brookson immediately if you find that you are unable to take rest breaks in order for you to comply with the Working Time Regulations 1998. Brookson can then discuss this position with your agency and in turn your end client. It is for your own safety that you ensure that you take adequate rest breaks.

Please note that you are required to take the following periods of uninterrupted rest:

  • 24 hours in each 7 day period; or
  • 48 hours in each 14 day period;
  • 11 hours in each 24 hour period;
  • 20 minutes in each 6 hour period.

How do I go about taking my holidays? (CLAUSE 6)

Please inform Brookson if you intend to take a period of holiday leave so that your records can be updated to ensure that you receive payment in respect of the same. This can be done by telephone or via Connect.

 

How do I find out more about auto-enrolment? (CLAUSE 8)

Further information about auto-enrolment will be sent to you in the next few weeks as we will start to deal with auto-enrolment from 1st September. You can access the auto-enrolment FAQs here.

 

Why is there now 2 clauses which deal with pensions? (CLAUSE 8 and 9)

We will only start to offer the NEST pension scheme from 1 September 2013 and so in the meantime we will continue to offer the existing Group Pension Scheme for any employees who wish to join.

 

What are “collective agreements” and why are they not applicable to my employment with Brookson? (CLAUSE 10)

Collective agreements are agreements between trade unions and your employer which may govern items such as your hours of work and rates of pay.

As Brookson does not recognise or have any affiliations with any trade union, there are no collective agreements in place in respect of your employment with us.

 

Why is my notice period with Brookson 1 month? (CLAUSE 12.1)

Different agencies have different notice periods which range from one hour to one month. Whilst the notice period between us and your agency may be less than one month, this may differ when you change assignment.

If the contract included the notice period you have agreed with the agency, it would need to change each time a new notice period was arranged. Due to the nature of contracting, this could result in increased administration for a simple change. By including the maximum notice periods agencies would expect will help to ensure the contracts are in line.

 

Why do Brookson only need to give me a week’s notice to terminate my employment but I have to give Brookson a month? (CLAUSE 12.2)

In line with the Employment Rights Act 1996, Brookson are legally obliged to give you a minimum period of notice should we need to terminate your employment. In certain circumstances, notice periods will differ (Clause 11.2).

 

Why should I agree to Brookson being able to deduct money from my salary? (CLAUSE 18)

Brookson would generally exercise this right where a payment error has occurred. We are authorised to collect overpayments we have made to you from other payments we owe you. This is also the case where agencies mistakenly over-pay Brookson.

 

Why do I need to tell you about my criminal convictions? (CLAUSE 20)

Most agencies require you to disclose details of any criminal convictions to enable them to provide you with suitable work. In turn, this obligation is passed on to us to ensure that the information provided is accurate and correct.

 

Why are Brookson restricting me from working for end clients for 6 months? (CLAUSE 23.1)

Most agencies do not allow candidates to work directly for clients to whom the agency has introduced, without prior consent.

This restriction is imposed upon Brookson in our contract with the agency. In order to ensure compliance with such restriction, Brookson needs you to agree with this condition.

 

What if I do not agree with how Brookson is dealing with my personal information? (CLAUSE 24)

You should put your request in writing to Brookson so that we can investigate the matter fully and provide you with a personal response.

 

Why am I required to assign all of the intellectual property / copyright in my work to Brookson? (CLAUSE 25)

It is a legal requirement. The intellectual property rights and/or copyright in the work you carry out, inventions you create, processes you develop during the course of your employment will rest with your employer, Brookson.

Most agencies require Brookson to agree to assign all of the intellectual property rights to them or the end client. This clause has been included to help us comply with this obligation.

 

Why do I need to tell you when I am changing assignment? (CLAUSE 26)

We ask you to inform us whenever you change assignment so that we can request a suitable contract from your agency in respect of the services you agree to provide.

If no contract is in place, this may create difficulties later on should anything go wrong with the assignment.

 

What is Gap Pay? (CLAUSE 27)

Gap Pay is paid to all employees who are between assignments and have fulfilled the simple criteria listed in this clause. Brookson will pay you 7 hours at National Minimum Wage for each week when you are available for work, but have no assignments to undertake.

You simply need to complete the Gap Pay Application Form which and return it to us to confirm your availability for next week. You will also need to tell us when your assignment is due to come to an end and keep in touch with us in case you secure a new assignment with us, secure further work elsewhere or if you need any assistance from us in securing a new assignment through recruitment agencies.

If you forget to send the Application Form to us, we will not pay you Gap Pay until a form is received and you confirm that you do not have a new assignment which is due to start at any point in the future.

 

How can you help me find work?

We are not a recruitment business, nor do we intend to be one or carry out this function. Although we recognize that employees will turn to us to help them in securing further assignments.

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