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Zero Hour Contracts

Zero Hour Contracts are becoming more common. They have also received an increase in media attention, put in the spotlight, receiving criticism for the nature of the contract.

The contract is usually used to employ part-time staff, with the idea that is allows a flexible work arrangement for both the employer and employee.

These contracts mean employers are under no obligation to provide their employees with any hours work, meaning the employee has no guarantee of any income.

The varied income caused by the erratic work pattern will also have a knock on effect in regards to the employee’s benefits, such as holiday and sick pay. The variable pay will also have an impact on any state benefits that the individual is entitled to.

In some cases employers can abuse this contract, creating large pools of zero-hours staff that are expected to work on call. Staff may become fearful that failing to comply with their employer’s wishes may result in future hours being withdrawn.

A particular issue of importance is that some zero hours contracts include a requirement for exclusivity which means that a worker can not undertake work for any other employer. In practice they are then bound to a company which has no obligation to provide work, but they are unable to obtain other work when no hours are being offered.

The Government is committed to a period of consultation on zero hours contracts and the exclusivity point is an area which is likely to be the subject of early legislation. Proposals are likely by early 2014 and all of the political parties seem to be committed to a review of this area of work to ensure that individuals are not subject to unreasonable prejudice in the work arrangements.

If you are employed under a zero-hour contract and are concerned about your employment rights then speak to one of our Liverpool employment solicitors. With their assistance they can provide you with the advice that can make sure your employment rights are protected.

Call us today on 0151 735 1000 and speak to a Liverpool solicitor today.


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