It's time for employers to get smart about casual workers. At present, only those with a full-blown contract of employment qualify for redundancy, maternity leave and unfair-dismissal protection. For example, last year the House of Lords decided that two tour guides engaged on a 'casual-as-required' basis at Blyth power station were not employees as there was no mutual obligation to give or accept work. But the law is to change so that all workers, except the genuinely self-employed, can shortly sup from the great cornucopia of legal protections.
New regulations will also allow part-timers to bring tribunal complaints of being treated less fairly than full-timers, and discrimination will be unlawful unless justifiable on 'objective grounds'. However, new part-timers' rights will be restricted to full-blown employees, excluding many temporary staff. Even so, you can't accuse the Government of a casual approach to employment rights.