HR

Zero Hours Contracts – An overview

by Katie Finbow

What are they?

Zero hours contracts (also known as casual contracts) allow employers to vary an employee’s working hours. In practice this means that employees will only work when they are needed and no particular number of hours or times of work are specified or guaranteed.

How common are they?

At the end of 2014, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that the number of people employed on zero hours contracts was 697,000 in the period October to December. This figure represents 2.3% of all people in employment, an increase of 0.4% from the previous year.

Who uses them?

The ONS data shows that the industries most likely to offer zero-hours contracts are Accommodation and Food Services, followed by Education.  Employees are most likely to be women, people in full-time education or part-time workers. They are also more likely to be aged under 25 or over 65. On average, someone on a zero hours contract works 25 hours a week, although around a third of a people say they would like to work more hours.

What’s wrong with them?

While many employers believe this type of contract can create a flexible workforce and helps limit unemployment (for example following the global financial crises), there is some criticism that workers subject to zero-hour contracts could be easily exploited. Not having regular work or enough working hours can cause personal financial difficulties and difficulties arranging childcare. It is also thought that some employers use these contracts as a management tool to favour some employees with more hours at the expense of others who may then experience prolonged periods of no work.

What is written in a contract does not always protect employers from risks of certain actions, like this.

Under these types of contracts employee’s have the right to turn down hours that they are offered, this may leave the organisation open to the risk of not having the necessary staff cover.

To make sure your employment practices and contracts are compliant with the latest Employment Law contact one of Park City’s specialist HR Consultants.

Request a Quote

Name

Schedule A Call

Simply click below to schedule a call with a specialist to discuss your business requirements.

Saul HunnaballSaul Hunnaball
15:44 12 Aug 22
We have worked with Park City for our HR and Health and Safety support for many years now and have always received an excellent service.Carley is our Consultant and she is always so helpful, as are... her colleagues when she is unavailable.I would highly recommend Park City.read more
Lea CuttingLea Cutting
08:31 27 Jul 22
Park City have worked with us for many years, advising and guiding us regarding HR and Health & Safety, along with supplying valuable training.We work with many people in several areas of expertise,... Sara Godfrey, Jennie Galione, Ashley Williams, Sam Parcell, Stephanie Devans, Poppy Hayhoe.They build confidence within our company and are always available with support and advice.They provide a consistent, professional, hands-on service, second to none!Thank you from DH Industries Limited.read more
Vikki PringleVikki Pringle
11:12 20 Jul 22
The team at Park City offer us the right level of service needed to confidently run a small business. They keep us up to date with UK policy HR requirements, help us manage any staff changes or... issues and policy documents. The team are informed, friendly and remain professional in my experience.read more
Tracy MeadTracy Mead
07:12 20 Jul 22
The DS Group have been working with Park City now for a number of years and we have found their HR services to be invaluable. The service received is always to the highest professional standards and... they have assisted our business in becoming more efficient and effective in all HR matters.My consultant Sam Parcell is always on hand to help answering any questions quickly and professionally and she offers vital guidance, advice and support to us.We as a company will continue to use Park City’s services for many years to come and we cannot recommend them enough!Tracy Norton-Mead, Operations Director at the DS Group.read more
Katie HerbertKatie Herbert
13:35 07 Jul 22
We have worked with Park City for almost 10 years and have built up a great professional relationship over the years. The team are so friendly and helpful, and nothing is ever too much of an ask for... any of them. Our main HR contact is Carley, who is lovely, and she is very prompt in dealing with any queries we have regarding our 100+ staff. We would highly recommend their services for any local business.read more
js_loader

Recent Related Articles