Last edited 30 Jul 2014

Zero hours contracts

A zero hour contract is an employment contract which provides no guarantee of the number of hours an employee may be required to work. Other employment rights are available but the key issue of how much an employee may get paid in any period is entirely dependent upon the employer.

Such contracts can be good for both workers and employers who want flexibility in their working hours. But equally some employers have been exploiting the rules, preventing workers from taking jobs elsewhere through the use of exclusivity clauses.

In July 2014, Vince Cable, Business Secretary, announced plans to ban these clauses, giving individuals on zero hours contracts the choice to find other work, should they want to.

Cable said: “Zero hours contracts have a place in today’s labour market. They offer valuable flexible working opportunities for students, older people and other people looking to top up their income and find work that suits their personal circumstances.

But it has become clear that some unscrupulous employers abuse the flexibility that these contracts offer to the detriment of their workers. Today, we are legislating to clamp down on abuses to ensure people get a fair deal.

Last December, I launched a consultation into this issue. Following overwhelming evidence, we are now banning the use of exclusivity in zero hours contracts and committing to increase the availability of information on these contracts. We will also work with unions and businesses to develop a best practice code of conduct aimed at employers who wish to use zero hours contracts as part of their workforce.”

This article was written by --Martinc 20:12, 29 July 2014 (BST)

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