World of Work

Job Sectors

 Employer Expectations

Your new colleagues will expect you to approach the job with an open mind, so you can quickly learn what you need to do it well. They will expect you to take instructions and directions from the people training you and from your new supervisor. They will expect you to be reliable. Arrive at work on time and don’t leave until your shift is over. Call in to give notice if you are sick and can’t make it in or are going to be unavoidably delayed. Your new employers will expect you to be honest, to conduct yourself professionally, and to dress appropriately for the position.

Going Beyond What’s Expected

If you want to make an excellent impression and exceed your employer’s basic expectations, try to cultivate a cheerful and flexible attitude. Things are often more complicated in reality than they appear on paper, so the company’s official organizational chart might not be sufficient to describe everything that actually needs to get done. If you display resentment when asked to do something outside of your normal responsibilities, your boss might be disappointed.

Employee Expectations

Your employer will expect certain things of you, but you also have the right to expect things of your employer. Employee expectations include the timely and accurate payment of wages, adequate training, safe working conditions, full explanation of all company policies and especially of your job responsibilities, and fair and constructive feedback from your supervisor. If any of these expectations are not being met, you should have a conversation with your supervisor to discuss the situation. Most of these employee expectations are not only reasonable but also are required by law.

When Expectations Are Not Met

The relationship between you and your employer is likely to run into trouble if either of you feels that expectations are not being consistently met. Some of these situations are unambiguous. For instance, if you don’t get your paycheck when you are supposed to, your employer is clearly not meeting a legitimate expectation. If you leave the office an hour early every day, you are not meeting expectations. Other expectations might not be reasonable. If your employer expects loyalty from employees but does not extend the same loyalty to them, this may not be fair. If you expect to be promoted after you’ve been working there for a year, this may not be reasonable if you haven’t excelled as an employee. Whenever you’re dealing with expectations, try to assess them objectively to decide how reasonable they really are.

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Different contracts

Full-time contracts

The most common type of employment contract is full-time.

These contracts are generally offered for permanent positions, and usually set out the employee’s salary or hourly wage. Other details included within a full-time contract include holiday entitlements, pension benefits, parental leave allowances, and details on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

There is no set minimum number of hours that you must work on a full-time contract. However, most employers recognise full-time work as 35+ hours per week.

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Part-time contracts

A part-time worker works fewer contracted hours than a full-time employee.

However, they generally also hold permanent positions, and their contract contains many of the same details as their full-time counterparts. The number of hours they’re scheduled to work per week should be clearly visible within the contract, but they may have the option to work overtime, if and when desired.

Benefits of part-time employment include a more flexible schedule, allowing individuals to fit their work around other commitments, and the opportunity for people to try out new roles without having to give up vast amounts of your time.

 Fixed-term contracts

Fixed-term contracts last for a specific amount of time, which has been set and agreed in advance.

In some instances, fixed-term contracts may not include an exact timeframe, but will instead end when a specific task has been completed or fulfilled.

Fixed-term employees enjoy all of the same rights and benefits as with any other permanent contract, although factors such as holiday entitlement will depend on contract length.

Depending on the role, and an individual’s performance, fixed-term contacts can sometimes lead to longer-term positions.

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Temporary contracts

Similar to fixed-term, temporary contracts are offered when a contract is not expected to become permanent.

Usually they would have some form of end date included, however, these may be subject to change. As such, temporary workers may have their contracts extended in line with demand and availability.

Despite their short-term status, temporary workers are entitled to the same rights as any other member of staff. Benefits of temporary contracts include increased flexibility, the ability to manage work around study or other interests, and building experience within a specific sector.

Agency contracts

Agency staff have their contracts agreed and managed by a recruitment consultancy or employment agency.

They usually work on a temporary basis, and the length of their contract will depend on demand from the employer, as well as their availability.

It will be the agency’s responsibility to make sure their employees’ rights are protected. However, NI contributions and Statutory Sick Pay will be paid by the employer to the agency you work for.

After 12 weeks’ continuous employment in the same role, agency workers are then entitled to the same rights as permanent employees of the company.

Freelancers and contractors

When working on a freelance or contracted basis, contracts may vary from position to position.

However, individuals working in this way are generally considered self-employed, meaning that it’s their responsibility to look after tax and NI contributions. Contracts may include start and end dates, or the salary may be based on set projects or pieces of work, meaning the contract effectively ends upon delivery.

Freelance and contract workers may also not be entitled to the same rights as more permanent members of staff, although they do get to manage their own schedule, and negotiate their own terms.

Zero hour contracts

Also known as casual contracts, zero hour contracts specify that an employee works only when required by their employer.

The employer is under no obligation to provide a set amount of hours to work. And, similarly, the employee does not have to accept any work that is offered to them.

Zero hour workers are, however, entitled to the same annual leave as permanent workers, and their employer must pay them at least the National Minimum Wage to work.

Individuals on a zero hour contract may also seek employment elsewhere. In fact, their contract would not be valid if it prevented them from looking for, or accepting, work from another employer.

If you’re still not sure about your contract, visit to find out more.


Main employment types

  • Permanent or fixed-term employees.

  • Casual employees.

  • Apprentices or trainees – employees.

  • Employmentagency staff – also called labour hire.

  • Contractors and sub-contractors – hired staff.

  • Career promotion

  • Dress code

  • Ethic, Company values,

  • Whistleblowing,

  • Health and Safety,

Your rights as an employee

Employment rights

Workers are entitled to certain employment rights, including:

They may also be entitled to: