Zero-Hours Contracts on the Rise

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Employee Contract
We’ve received several enquiries asking what is the best alternative to a zero-hours contract now that they are no longer permitted.

This is a myth!

Zero-hours contracts are very popular and have seen a 6% increase in their use during the last year according to the Office for National Statistics.

These contracts offer both the business and the employee a degree of flexibility which can suit both in the right circumstances. For example, one of our clients is a hotel which is used as wedding venue. Their Conference and Banqueting Manager deals with any enquiries for weddings but they need someone to be there on the day making sure that everything is running smoothly and is available to quickly sort out any problems. They have employed a student on a zero-hours contract who is studying for a degree in hospitality who simply works on the days that a wedding is booked. This arrangement suits both parties very well. The Hotel know that she may not be available on some occasions due to her University commitments and that is accepted.

Provided you are reasonable and treat the employee with dignity and respect, there need be no problem. What you absolutely cannot do though is to prohibit an employee from working or performing services under another contract or allowing them to work only if they have your permission.

For those of you who like the numbers…
  • It is estimated that 744,000 people or 2.4% of employees between April and June 2015 are employed on zero-hours contracts.
  • 54% of employees on zero-hours contracts are female
  • 34% of employees on zero-hours contracts are aged 16 to 24
  • 6% of employees on zero-hours contracts are aged over 65
  • 20% of employees on zero-hours contracts are in full-education


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