Zero Hours Contract – More Harm Than Good?

Zero-hours contract has become increasingly popular since last few years. Within this contract, an employer doesn’t have to guarantee any hours of work from the worker. In recent years, many businesses have been using (and misusing) zero-hours contracts. The workers who work under this contract are entitled to the national minimum wage for the number of hours worked and also a proportional statutory holiday. However, in most of the cases, the holidays are underpaid. Workers are also eligible for sick pay, although they may not get it. At the end of the spectrum, zero-hours contract somehow favors employers as the workers are expected to accept the work whenever offered. This scenario makes is much more similar to employment, minus the perks and employee benefits such as vacation days, sick pay, pensions, and overtime pay. When the law was first introduced, workers were not allowed to take on work from a different employer, and as a result, they were earning less than the minimum wage. But later in 2014, the law was updated, under which, a worker can take work from multiple employers. You should know the pros and cons of zero-hours contract before you decide whether you should be on such contract or be an employee instead.

The Pros:

  • It is really suitable for several industries in which extra workers are required on an event-by-event basis such as leisure industry.
  • Workers have a right to pick the best employer and can change their job as frequently as they want.
  • Such type of contract is especially suitable for hiring seasonal staff.
  • It gives more business flexibility to employers.
  • Workers can gain a lot more by picking the employers that pay higher.

The Cons:

  • The legislation requires some change such as the situation in which a worker is approached by multiple employers at the same time.
  • It seems to benefit the employer more than the employee.
  • Workers sometimes have no idea about how much hours they will be working and the wages that they will be earning for a specific task.
  • With this contract come a risk and lesser financial security for workers.

Looking at the pros and cons of zero-hour contract, we can conclude that such contract is neither friend nor foe, it is something that should be used with caution.

Diana Coker
Diana Coker is a staff writer at The HR Digest, based in New York. She also reports for brands like Technowize. Diana covers HR news, corporate culture, employee benefits, compensation, and leadership. She loves writing HR success stories of individuals who inspire the world. She’s keen on political science and entertains her readers by covering usual workplace tactics.

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