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Your rights as a flexible worker in Cleaning jobs

If you already have a Cleaning job and are looking into taking on more shifts, or maybe you are looking to go into this line of work for the first time, it’s important that you know your rights as a temporary worker and the relevant legislation relating to flexible employees.

Your rights as a flexible worker

As a flexible worker you have a number of rights that protect you, just like those in permanent employment. It is vital that you know what these are and how they apply to you:

  • Payslips: you are entitled to a written, itemised, paper or electronic wage statement or payslip. Read our Payslips Explained Blog post for more information.
  • Rest periods: If you work more than six hours a day you have the right to one uninterrupted 20-minute rest break. You have the right to 11 consecutive hours rest between working days. You are also entitled to an uninterrupted 24-hours without any work each week, or 48 hours each fortnight.
  • Flexible working: All employees have the right to request flexible working hours to suit their needs, such as flexible start and finish times. To be eligible you must have worked at least 26 weeks for the same employer. Your employer must deal with your request within three months, and if they refuse your application, they must have a sound business reason for doing so.
  • Right to work: All new employers are legally required to check if you are entitled to work in the UK. They will need to see either your passport, UK birth certificate or biometric residence permit.
  • The National Minimum Wage: This is the minimum amount of money anyone over 17 is legally entitled to earn per hour.
  • National Living Wage: This only applies to those who are over 25 and is the minimum amount of money they are legally entitled to earn per hour. Click here to use our salary calculator
  • Equality and Diversity: Everyone is legally protected by the Equality Act 2010 from discrimination in the workplace. You can read more in our blog on Diversity & Inclusion.
  • Maternity or Paternity leave: You can use this government calculator to find out if you are entitled to paid maternity, paternity or shared parental leave.

Key Information Document 166

The Key Information Document is part of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2019. It was introduced on 6 April 2020 to increase pay transparency for agency workers and to provide key information regarding their assignments.

Your Key Information Document from your employer must include:

  • Your Full Name
  • Name of the business or agency employing you
  • Your contract type
  • Who will pay you
  • How often you will be paid
  • Your rate of pay
  • The amount of fees and deductions you can expect
  • Any other benefits you may receive
  • Your holiday entitlement 

As this document is given to an agency worker before terms are agreed, the key information document is not intended to be fully representative of contractual terms that may subsequently be agreed to.

The Key Information Document should simply give a clear overview of some important aspects of the proposed contractual arrangements, including how a proposed rate of pay is affected by any fees or deductions.

Regularity of hours of work

It is very important that temporary Cleaner’s know their rights relating to hours worked, so you can ensure a good work-life balance. As a flexible employee you may want to commit to various shifts or shift patterns, so be mindful of what your commitment is, and what the legislation is.

The UK government’s working time directive states that:

  • No one should be working more than a 48-hour week 
  • The average weekly working hours are usually calculated over a 17-week period
  • You can opt out of the 48-hour limit, either indefinitely or for a certain period.
  • Your opt-out decision must be voluntary and recorded in writing.
  • You should not be treated unfairly or dismissed if you choose not to sign an opt-out agreement.

You can find out more information on opt-out agreements by clicking here and you can use this calculator to work out your working hours.

If you agree to work night shifts, you must first be offered a free health assessment by your employer. It is also an employers’ responsibility that night workers don’t work more than an average of eight hours in a 24-hour period.

Holiday entitlement and other benefits

As a flexible worker, by law you are entitled to 5.6 weeks (28 days) of paid holiday or statutory leave each year. We recommend that you check your employment contract, as it must detail your statutory leave entitlement.

Your statutory leave may or may not include bank holidays. Your employer has the right to require that you work them, as there is no statutory right to time off on a bank or public holiday.

Shift workers, term-time workers or anyone who works irregular hours, are entitled to paid time off for every hour they work. You can use this helpful calculator to get an estimate of your holiday entitlement by calculating leave based on days or hours worked in an average week. 

Exercise your flexible worker rights

Cleaner’s play an extremely important role in society, and as temporary workers they can often have to adapt quickly to new working environments and manage ever changing teams. 

If you are having a problem at work, your first step is to raise the issue directly with your employer. If the problem is not resolved this way, you may need to raise a formal grievance.

If you feel that your rights are not being provided for and you want to file a grievance, or if you have any other concerns, you can contact the Acas helpline or use the Acas Helpline Online to get further advice.

We feel it is important that all temporary workers know what their rights are in terms of hours, holiday, benefits and relevant legislation, and that they have the know-how to identify, discuss and raise any issues with regards to their rights as flexible employees in the workplace.

Useful Links

For more information on your rights as a flexible worker here are some useful links:

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