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Zero Hours Contracts – The Debate Rolls On!

As the two main political parties trade blows on whether a zero hour contract is a good idea for the economy and employees I thought it would be worthwhile to outline the pro’s and con’s of zero hours contracts for employers.
For businesses that operate in uncertain markets using zero hours contracts can help in managing their peaks and troughs in demand. So, you can draft more staff in during busy periods without the burden of paying a continuing wage.
Also there are benefits for employees who do not want a long standing employment relationship and may want to supplement their current employment with some short term non-permanent work; they are not obligated to accept. If they were tied into a minimum number of hours, persistent refusal of work would be a breach of contract.
However without a doubt there is abuse of the zero hours contract where individuals hours are feast or famine and may undertake full-time hours on a regular basis. I would argue that there is a need to review market demand and labour supply and specify a minimum number of hours within the contract to ensure there is sufficient cover and the individual employee has some job and financial security.
Exclusivity clauses should be avoided within zero hours contracts. As they attempt to ban employees on zero-hours contracts from accepting work from another employer. When you are not offering any job security this approach is heavy-handed and unethical.

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