Zero Hours Contracts

The Office for National Statistics have stated that the number of workers on zero hours contracts has risen by 19%. The ONS however warned that part of the rise could be due to increased recognition of the term “zero hours contract”.

“It is not possible to say how much of this increase is due to greater recognition of the term ‘zero hours contracts’ rather than new contracts,” the organisation explained in the summary to its statistical release.

With all the recent publicity regarding these type of contracts, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking these arrangements have no place in a modern workplace. However, used correctly they benefit the worker and the company, and with Christmas coming, they may be essential for some companies. The catering and retail sectors in particular need extra staff to cope with demand. Zero hour contracts allow companies to manage demand flexibly and are popular with students and people with other responsibilities.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has produced a guide for employer’s on zero-hour contracts. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/zero-hours-contracts-guidance-for-employers/zero-hours-contracts-guidance-for-employers

It explains to employers how zero-hour contracts work, the difference between appropriate and inappropriate use of such arrangements, and gives guidance on best practice and alternatives to zero-hour contracts. The guide can be found on the Gov.UK website. If you need any further assistance with this type of contract then please contact us directly.