Mike Patterson of Berwins’ Solictors wrote the following and can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
New figures released this week revealed that more than one million UK workers could be employed on zero-hours contracts, which is four times the number initially estimated.
This figure derives from a survey of 1,000 employers carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and has prompted renewed calls for the government to launch a full inquiry into the use of these contracts by employers.
A zero-hours contract is where a person is not contracted to work a set number of hours, and is only paid for the number of hours that they actually work. Used appropriately this type of contract can provide flexibility for employers and workers, and help to create more flexible working opportunities, by allowing employers to staff their workforce according to peaks and troughs in demand.
However, workers on a zero-hours contract are left without guaranteed hours, sick pay or holiday pay. Often they are only told how many hours they will work once the weekly or monthly rota has been confirmed, but are expected to be on call for extra work at short notice. As a result, workers are left vulnerable to sudden reductions in shift patterns and last minute shift cancellations at the discretion of managers, without any entitlement to pay.
Yesterday it emerged that the UK’s largest food chain, McDonald’s, is potentially the biggest zero-hours employer in the private sector with over 82,000 of its staff (90% of the workforce) on the controversial terms.
This follows the announcement that retailer Sports Direct employs around 20,000 of its 23,000 staff on zero-hours contracts, as well as Buckingham Palace which uses them for its 350 summer workers. These contracts are also popular with those employers in the care home, catering and leisure industries.
The CIPD has stressed that there needs to be a closer look on what is meant by a zero-hours contract, the different forms that they take, and clearer guidance on what good and bad practice in their use looks like.
What action the government takes in response, we will have to wait and see.
So my take on this subject is that Zero Hours contracts are self employment by the back door, but without the benefit of tax breaks. Now that is quite worrying.
Mike quotes a recent survey suggesting there are 1 million people on these deals, which rather confirms the suspicion of many that there are nearer 4 million unemployed in the UK presently
I also look at the situation slightly differently too, since many of these people may not have work of a day to day basis. That surely provides the opportunity to use that time effectively elsewhere for personal profit?
One idea could be to create new and additional income streams.
Here is one that I became involved in many years ago:
An award winning company with full training and support.
Lots of promotions and benefits too
Two car plans, plus lots, lots more.
Totally flexible hours too, so can be worked as and when you are available. Fits around Zero Hours.
Please take a look, you could be pleasantly surprised?