Zero Hour Contracts

What is a Zero Hours Contract?

A zero hours contract may be agreed between an employer and employee when the number hours of work is not known. Employees will only work when required. Some more onerous contracts can make shifts compulsory if offered, which means that employees have very little flexibility.

These contracts are very useful when using casual employees, or if a business is starting out and doesn’t know as yet how many hours of work will be needed.

Why Are Zero Hours Contracts Getting Negative Press

Some very large employers are imposing zero hour contracts upon their employees. This gives greater control to the employer for cost saving.

Recommendation

These contracts are useful for casual staff or short seasonal work. However, if the role is essentially a regular full-time or part-time job then an appropriate contract should be given to an employee. This will hopefully increase staff morale and loyalty.

The government could consider introducing a limit on zero hours contracts, for example if someone has been an employee for more than 6 months with an average of 16 hours per week a minimum hour contract should be introduced.

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