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A colleague of mine, fed up with the zero-hour contract, applied for a job with regular hours and a proper contract, within the council we 'work' for. She has been told that, as a 'Casual' employee, she can't apply internally for jobs on the council Intranet.

 

How can this be? Surely it's a form of discrimination? :|

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Very strange indeed.

 

It can be an act of discrimination on part time worker or agency worker grounds, so there could be a theoretical breach here (if they were indeed part time employees rather than a true zero hours worker which has separate status, and isn't a claim I've come across). Zero hours workers aren't "employees" for legislative purposes, so it could be tricky - it really depends on their status as per their contract.

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Hi Jemms,

 

I worked in local government for a time - sometimes HR didn't apply hard and fast rules if management wished them to be more 'flexible'. We had the 'jobs open to internal candidates only' rule - yet a self-employed contractor, who was working through/for a recruitment agency in our department got shortlisted for an internal interview.

 

When this was queried, we were told by HR that the individual was counted as a employee of the Council - pure tosh of course - the contractor sucked up to the section manager at every opportunity.

 

Your friend could kick up a fuss and still not get an interview - and a zero hours contract probably would be zero hours worked! Even if your friend rocked the boat and succeeded in getting an interview they would probably be marked down at interview so they didn't get the job anyway.

 

A more successful route would be to gently ask the question again - perhaps ask the manager of the section concerned or HR - whichever one hasn't been asked yet? Enquire in a positive, non-confrontational way "I would love to work in this role, I have worked here for a while and I am familiar with work practices, systems etc; I have a lot of relevant experience etc; surely it would be worth considering me for the job."

 

Is your friend paid by the Council direct (i.e. is he/she on the Council payroll, got a payroll number etc;) or does he/she work through an agency?

 

If he/she is paid directly by the Council it would seem to me that they may have a reasonable claim to be an internal/council employee (even if they are deemed to be 'casual'). If they work for the Council through an agency they would probably wouldn't count as an internal candidate if HR stick to their rules and procedures.

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Yes we are paid by the Council and have payroll numbers. My colleague did contact HR. As for being non-confrontational, mmm, knowing the person, I couldn't comment as I wasn't there when she rang. She can go off the deep end! :|

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It might be worth having a quiet word with a union rep. Even if she isn't in a trade union i would hope that a local shop steward would at least give her some advice.

 

She might also consider emailing HR to ask for a copy of the recruitment guidelines that clearly show she is can't be considered an internal candidate. That might clear things up.... or maybe show that HR are slipping and sliding 'off-piste' from the Authority's own recruitment procedures.

 

I say email HR - just in case 'going off the deep end' includes plunging into the shark-infested waters of an ET at a later date - at least she would then have the beginnings of a paper trail.

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