Answering your Employment Contract Questions
Zero hour contracts are definitely a controversial subject. According to a survey conducted by the ONS 26.6% of employees on these types of contracts want more hours.
This begs the question why don’t these contracts offer more stability?
But before analysing the reasons for this lack of consistency in hours. What exactly is a zero hour contract? Well simply put it’s a employment contract that allows employers to hire staff with no guarantee of hours.
So if you’ve just aced your interview and landed yourself a job but you’re not sure what you should or shouldn’t believe about this contract type, here are your questions answered.
Why do Employers use Zero Hour Contracts?
It offers an employer a flexible work force. Meaning they’re able to increase staff numbers during periods of peak and reduce numbers as workloads decline.
This helps to maintain a balancing act without having to pay wages for employees who aren’t needed. Or have mass recruitment drives when work picks up pace.
Who is on Zero Hour Contracts?
The Office for National Statistics stated that between April and June 2017, 883,000 people were on these types of contracts. Typically, they were seen to be young people working on average 25.2 hours per week.
Whilst there is no particular profile for a zero hour worker, it’s used for causal workers. Industries such as retail, production and hospitality to just name a few.
What are your rights on a Zero Hour Contract?
You’ll have all the same employment rights as any other type of employee. The only exception being breaks (which are accrued based on hours worked.)
Zero hour contractors are entitled to holiday pay, national minimum wage and payment for any work related travel. There is protection put in place to avoid any exclusivity clauses being added to your contract. (Basically meaning an employer can’t insist you become a one job woman!)
What is the notice period for these types of contracts?
As you’re not contracted to any hours a notice period isn’t required. If you want to maintain a good relationship with an employer normally an agreed notice period would be carried out.
Unfortunately this works both ways. An employer doesn’t have to give you any notice if work is no longer available.
Are there any benefits of Zero Hour Contracts?
The main benefit of this contract type is the ability to be flexible in your working hours. You have the right to agree or reject your working hours.
If you’ve other commitments such as family responsibilities or you’re in full time or part time education this could work better with your schedule.
Do you get Holiday Pay with Zero Hour Contracts?
Workers are also entitled to take paid leave and must also be paid any holiday that is owing to them when their employment contract is terminated.
Holiday pay for zero hour contracts is it’s accrued on the average hours worked over a 12 week period. Meaning you will have to calculate your holiday entitlement.