Employees who are given no work on any day they would normally be required to work may be entitled to a statutory payment i.e. a guarantee payment.
An employer wishing to use a statutory lay off period must have either the contractual right or the custom and practice right to do so.
Certain categories of employment are excluded from the right to receive guarantee payments. These include anyone that has not been continuously employed for at least one month before the date on which the suspension begins is not covered by the provision. Anyone who has no normal working hours prescribed by a Contract of Employment, for example, some insurance agents and sales representatives; members of the police and Armed Forces; masters or crew members engaged in share fishing and are paid solely by a share of the catch and employees who ordinarily work outside of Great Britain (excluding offshore oil and gas installations in British sectors of the Continental Shelf) is also not covered by the provision.
There is a qualifying period of one month's service necessary before guarantee payments become payable.
Even if employees potentially qualify, they may lose the right to a guarantee payment in certain circumstances.
The statutory entitlement to a guarantee payment is limited to five days in any three months (except where under a Contract of Employment an employee is required to work less than five days in a week - in those cases the entitlement cannot exceed the number of days that the employee is required to work by that contract).
The amount of the maximum guarantee payment per workless day is adjusted, from time to time by the government, normally on an annual basis.
Employees who have not been paid the guarantee payments to which they are entitled, may bring a complaint to an Employment Tribunal for a remedy.