Zero-hours contracts - what are your rights? | Howells Solicitors

Zero-hours contracts – what are your rights?

There has been a considerable amount in the news over the last few weeks about people working on zero-hour contracts, with a lot of debate over the pros and cons of these contracts.

Zero-hours contracts can be extremely beneficial to employers, particularly in industries with fluctuating or seasonal work loads. They can also be beneficial to some employees, who like to have the freedom from a fixed working pattern. However, there is the risk of zero-hours contracts being exploited with some employees signing contracts not knowing where they stand with work from one day to the next.

In a zero-hours contract, the employer generally has no obligation to provide work to the employee who has signed the contract. There is no weekly contracted number of hours that the employee is entitled to work. If the employer offers work, the employee is obliged to carry out this work and the employer is obliged to pay them for work done at a rate at least equal to the National Minimum Wage. However an employee on a zero-hours contract may not know until the day if they are going to be working. In some industries, employees on zero-hours contracts will agree to work according to weekly or monthly rotas. In other sectors, especially retail, they may be summoned to work at a few hours’ notice. A risk of these contracts is that an employee may not be offered any shifts, affecting the employee personally and financially.

A case has recently been brought against Sports Direct, who it has been reported employ 20,000 people on zero-hours contracts. Other large organisations that regularly use these type of contracts, it has been revealed, include Buckingham Palace, McDonalds and Burger King.

We can assist and provide advice, whether you are employed on a zero-hours contract or if you are running a business that currently uses zero-hour contracts.

If you employ people on zero-contract hours and are concerned about the need to maintain a flexible workforce we will happily review your existing contracts and provide you with advice on these.

Contact us to make an appointment or  request a callback from one of our expert team today.

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