Be better at 'the business of tourism'

AC 2.2

Types of Employment Contracts

Types of Contract

When employed in the tourism industry, organisations offer a wide variety of contracts to employees.
You will need to appreciate the different types of employment contracts available to employees which include the following:

  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • Self-employed
  • Freelance
  • Temporary
  • Casual 
  • Zero hours
  • Agency staff
  • Family
  • Young people
  • Volunteers

Activity 1

Have a go at this word search.

Activity 2

Read through each of the descriptions and then, working with a partner or small group, think of one advantage and one disadvantage of each type of contract.

Class discussion – share your findings with the rest of the class. Did everyone think the same?


As an employer you must give employees:

  • a written statement of employment or contract
  • the statutory minimum level of paid holiday
  • a payslip showing all deductions, e.g. National Insurance contributions (NICs)
  • the statutory minimum length of rest breaks
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • maternity, paternity and adoption pay and leave

You must also:

  • make sure employees don’t work longer than the maximum allowed
  • pay employees at least the minimum wage
  • have employer’s liability insurance
  • provide a safe and secure working environment 
  • register with HM Revenue and Customs to deal with payroll, tax and NICs
  • consider flexible working requests
  • avoid discrimination in the workplace
  • make reasonable adjustments to your business premises if your employee is disabled


If you hire a freelancer, consultant or contractor it means that:

  • they are self-employed or are part of other companies
  • they often look after their own tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs)
  • they might not be entitled to the same rights as workers, e.g. minimum wage
  • you’re still responsible for their health and safety


  • last for a certain length of time
  • are set in advance
  • end when a specific task is completed
  • end when a specific event takes place

Fixed-term employees must receive the same treatment as full-time permanent staff.

Zero hours

Zero hour contracts are also known as casual contracts. Zero hour contracts are usually for ‘piece work’ or ‘on call’ work, e.g. interpreters.

This means:

  • they are on call to work when you need them
  • you don’t have to give them work
  • they don’t have to do work when asked

Zero hour workers are entitled to statutory annual leave and the national minimum wage in the same way as regular workers.

You can’t do anything to stop a zero hours worker from getting work elsewhere. The law says they can ignore a clause in their contract if it bans them from:

  • looking for work
  • accepting work from another employer

You are still responsible for health and safety of staff on zero hour contracts.

Agency workers

As an employer, you can hire temporary staff through agencies. This means:

  • you pay the agency, including the employee’s National Insurance contributions (NICs) and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • it’s the agency’s responsibility to make sure workers get their rights under working time regulations
  • after 12 weeks’ continuous employment in the same role, agency workers get the same terms and conditions as permanent employees, including pay, working time, rest periods, night work, breaks and annual leave
  • you must provide the agency with information about the relevant terms and conditions in your business so that they can ensure the worker gets equal treatment after 12 weeks in the same job
  • you must allow agency workers to use any shared facilities (e.g. a staff canteen or childcare) and give them information about job vacancies from the first day they work there
  • you are still responsible for their health and safety

Family, young people, volunteers

If you hire family members you must:

  • avoid special treatment in terms of pay, promotion and working conditions
  • make sure tax and National Insurance contributions are still paid
  • follow working time regulations for younger family members
  • have employer’s liability insurance that covers any young family members
  • check if you need to provide them with a workplace pension scheme

Volunteers and voluntary staff

When taking on volunteers or voluntary staff you:

  • are responsible for their health and safety
  • must give inductions and training in the tasks they’re going to do

Young people

You can employ young people if they are 13 or over but there are special rules about how long they can work and what jobs they can do. Once someone is 18 they’re classed as an ‘adult worker’ and different rules apply.

As well as following these rules you must do a risk assessment before taking on young workers.

Young people may also have certain employment rights like:

  • statutory maternity pay and ordinary statutory paternity pay if they qualify as a result of their continuous employment
  • paid time off for study and training
  • redundancy pay

Young workers and apprentices have different rates from adult workers for the national minimum wage.

Types of contract

  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • Fixed-term/Temporary
  • Zero hours
  • Casual
  • Self-employed
  • Freelance
  • Agency

Activity 3

A General Manager of a hotel will hire people on a range of different contracts depending on the nature of work being undertaken.

Identifying different types of contracts at the hotel ‘Belissimo’.

From the descriptions, can you identify the type of contract the employees listed in the box will be likely to have at the Hotel Belissimo?