Variable hours contracts are applicable to employees whose hours of work will vary each week, typically those on shift work. Variable hours contracts are permitted under legislation provided there is a method by which the employees are made aware well in advance of the hours they will be required to work. In instances such as this a staff rota is advisable as it will set out the weekly working hours for staff and provide ample notice of this.

It is important to note that if an employee is not required to work any hours in a given week, possibly due to business circumstances or the employee not making themselves available, then it would be the case that the employee should be put on temporary layoff until the work becomes available.