A Guide for Employers on Zero-Hour Contracts has been released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The guide explains to employers how zero-hour contracts work in practice, explains the difference between appropriate and inappropriate use of such arrangements, and also gives guidance on suitable alternatives to zero-hour contracts. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 697,000 people were employed on zero-hours contracts for their main job between October and December 2014, based on figures from the Labour Force Survey. This represents 2.3% of the UK workforce.
Many people on zero-hours contracts are workers and do not have full employment status. However, employers tend to argue that their use of zero-hour contracts is not to avoid giving their employees their employment rights, but to avoid paying fixed overheads and permit them to retain flexibility over their workforce. Kate Fretten, Partner in our Employment team says, "there is an ongoing concern that zero-hour contracts do not offer enough financial stability and security. It will be interesting to see whether any of the guidance issued will be adopted by employers."
Our Employment Team, based in Christchurch, also cover Bournemouth, Poole and the New Forest. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Kate or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.