Are Zero Hour Contracts Good Or Bad

David Lawrence
• Wednesday, 18 November, 2020
• 9 min read

Much has been written about zero -hours contracts in the past: They’ve been called exploitative and have been associated with some bad working practices. Zero -hours contracts are a flexible option that is often used in the retail industry or situations where the need for workers fluctuates massively depending on the time of year, season or demand.

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(Source: www.tvnz.co.nz)


The UK government website, gov.UK, says that zero -hours workers are entitled to statutory annual leave and must receive the national minimum wage, just like any other employee. According to ACAS, employers are also still responsible for their employees’ health and safety while they’re working on this type of contract and are required to give them adequate rest breaks and take tax and National Insurance deductions from their pay.

It should include information about when or how planned work might be cancelled and explain how holiday and sick pay are calculated. It should also include information about when employees will be paid, what documentation they need to submit in order to demonstrate they have worked the hours, and whether their travel or expenses will be reimbursed.

Released in December 2019 found 81 per cent of workers born in the UK were satisfied with the number of hours they were working and did not consider themselves to be underemployed. Pros ConsFlexibleLow stability for employees may mean they are less loyal to their employers Good for use in retail industries or for employing people on an ad hoc basisLower commitment: You can’t stop zero -hours workers from looking for work or accepting work from another employer Good for employers who need different staffing levels and different times of year, often on short notice zero -hours contract doesn’t mean zero admin: You still need to pay statutory annual leave, minimum wage and take care of their health and safety at workout don’t have to spend money on staff wages if you don’t need themEmployees still need to be paid for being on call and for work-related travel, which may increase overall costs Good for people who want to work part-time or work on flexible homeworkers who don’t understand the nature of a zero -hours contract can become dissatisfied with the infrequent work, affecting employee morale Good for people (such as older employees) who just want to ‘keep their hand in’ or keep themselves active and engaged with workEmployers’ use of these contracts can be open to accusations of employer bias or favoritism: especially if a supervisor prioritizes certain workers over others The use of zero -hours contracts has been exposed to criticism in the past.

It provided evidence that most of the UK’s workers at the time felt secure, with most people entering non-permanent work out of choice rather than necessity. Now that we are entering a new phase of life after the initial COVID-19 shock, the very nature of work, workers, employees and the economy has changed.

When the economy starts to rebuild itself zero -hours contracts may very well prove to be a necessity for many businesses and many workers who have no other work. Person organizes your HR documents centrally to make sure you have all the information you need at your fingertips at any time.

contracts zero ban hour
(Source: www.nova.ie)

Such contracts suit many workers, for instance students, women and those already in part-time work looking for extra hours. There are even some examples of companies offering zero -hours contracts complete with pensions and paid holidays, however that is far from the norm.

For those whose only source of revenue is a zero -hours contract, the disadvantages can be huge; no job security, irregular income, lack of full employment rights, antisocial hours, difficulties with childcare or similar arrangements. A study by the conciliation service ACAS reveals a rise in insecurity and mistrust among workers tied to such contracts, with many too afraid to look for new work elsewhere for fear of losing the job they have.

Many employers are writing exclusivity clauses into zero -hours contracts, effectively restricting the earning potential of the workforce which cannot be helpful for the economy overall. Others are keeping a significant percentage of their workforce underemployed (less than30 hours), preferring to pay more people less rather than offering full employment terms.

While zero -hours contracts clearly offer flexibility which can be beneficial to employer and employee alike, the line between opportunity and exploitation is easily crossed. Exclusivity clauses in zero -hours contracts are exploitative, preventing individuals from accessing the job market fully.

A bolder, more proactive stance from government to rule out exploitative terms and conditions for UK workers would be welcomed. The news that the number of people working on zero -hours contracts has risen to a record high has prompted fresh calls for a ban.

zero hour contracts hours pros cons north debate reforming restore trust companies then articles read direct sports ethical
(Source: www.bmmagazine.co.uk)

How on earth did we come to this? To recap, a zero -hours contract” is simply a form of employment that does not guarantee a certain amount of work every week. Casual labor is of course nothing new, and at least part of the longer-term growth in the number of people saying they are on zero -hours contracts probably reflects increased familiarity with the new term.

People on zero -hours contracts also have the same legal rights, including entitlement to the national minimum wage and paid holidays. In contrast, the prevalence of zero -hours contracts among other age groups (25-64) is much lower (around 2%) and has been flat or falling as the labor market has strengthened.

It is true that about a quarter of people (26.1%) on a zero -hours contract would like an additional or replacement job, or longer hours, which is the usual definition of “under-employment”. There are doubtless hard cases where people working on zero -hours contracts feel insecure and exploited.

Above all, rather than pontificating about what forms of employment should be allowed, it might be more helpful if opponents of zero -hours contracts actually listened to some of the people who like them. It certainly seems odd for the TUC or the Labour Party to advocate restricting a worker’s right to choose.

There have been various reports that, in general, suggest people employed on zero -hours contracts are as happy as other staff and, if deployed responsibly, they can be a useful way to accommodate flexible working patterns. For seasonal workers, for example, a zero -hours contract can stop them being tied to one employer, and allow them to take up jobs on a temporary basis with no obligation.

fell casualisation slowing workforce hinting sharply contract zero hour numbers rms recruitment cent per contracts reporting firms these
(Source: www.rms-recruitment.co.uk)

Employees can be left vulnerable and without pay for a considerable amount of time and this is not a positive approach. Think of zero hours contracts and the 2016 Sports Direct scandal may well spring to mind.

Big brand names like Uber and Deliveroo have also come under scrutiny recently for the exploitation of casual laborers, and zero hours contracts were a key topic of discussion during the 2018 party conferences with the Labour Party proposing to ban them altogether. With all this press coverage over recent years, you might be feeling uneasy about using these contracts in your business.

We take a look at the pros and cons of zero hours contracts to help you make an informed decision about using them. We also share some tips on using them correctly and successfully, and suggest some alternative options if zero hours contracts aren’t quite the right fit for you.

‘ Zero hours contract’ is not a set legal term and there’s no universally accepted model. • Flexibility: If the workload for your business fluctuates, you might need more staff during certain seasons or to cover events.

• Growth: If you’re a new business, or experimenting in new market areas, you may be unsure what the volume of work will look like. People classed as ‘workers’ rather than ‘employees’ have a more straight-forward financial relationship with their employer and are not entitled to additional rights such as maternity pay, statutory minimum notice periods and redundancy payments.

days culture reputation
(Source: www.e-days.com)

• Foot in the door / Keeping a hand in: Zero hours contracts are a good way for inexperienced workers to gain useful grounding in a new industry, and may lead to permanent contracts and more reliable employment. Several companies have been called out for placing unreasonable demands on zero hours workers’ availability at short notice.

• Unpredictability for the worker: It can be tough to do any kind of financial planning on a zero hours contract, creating a state of permanent uncertainty. In this situation they have the right to claim unfair dismissal from day one of their contract.

In most cases, those working zero hours contracts will be classified as ‘workers’ rather than ‘employees’. • protection from unfair dismissal • the statutory minimum notice of intention to terminate employment, • redundancy pay • the right to request flexible working • unpaid time off to care for defendants • protection in the event of a buyout or change of employer.

Zero hours contracts shouldn’t pose a risk to a business if used correctly, with respect for the worker’s entitlements. The biggest risk is incorrectly classifying someone as a worker, and treating them as such, when they are in fact an employee in the eyes of the law.

• Offering annualized hours contracts if peaks in demand are known across a year. If you need advice on determining which types of employment contracts are best for your business, our HR consultants can help.

contract zero template hour 4qn eet cv32 dazzle str leamington spa park handypdf formsbirds
(Source: www.formsbirds.com)

Content perspective is the underlying human needs that help to understand how the needs can be satisfied in the work place. The process perspective understands how people seek the rewards in the workplace.

Frederick Taylor said that employees are motivated by rewards, money. The physiological need is the basic need which is food and shelter and once this is met the employee is motivated to achieve the next need.

However, there are the risk of favoritism as shift would only be given out to staff that did not challenge the managers. Content perspective is the underlying human needs that help to understand how the needs can be satisfied in the work place.

The reinforcement perspective understands how to change the employee’s behaviors through rewards or punishment. Frederick Taylor said that employees are motivated by rewards, money.

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