However, zero-hour workers have the right not to be unfairly dismissed or disadvantaged if they do not comply with an exclusivity clause and to claim compensation. Every worker in the UK has rights, including workers on zero-hour contracts. However, the extent of these rights depends on how your job is defined – employee, self-employed or employee. Some say that 0-hour contracts are the future of work, while others say that zero-hour contracts are obsolete and do not meet the current needs of the workforce. Companies moving forward with zero-hour contracts need to keep an eye on evolving regulations and best practices. A zero-hour contract does not have a minimum number of contractual hours compared to a full-time or part-time contract, the person is asked to do work as needed and is paid based on the work performed. If you have a zero-hour contract: Regarding holiday pay, the government has provided guidelines on how to calculate entitlement to holiday pay for irregular working hours, legislation implemented from April 2020 increases the salary reference period from 12 to 52 weeks. For more information, here is the guide outlining the rights of zero-hour contractors and casual workers. A zero-hour contract is a random agreement between a company and an individual in which the person usually works for the company, but the company does not guarantee fixed hours or future work. Companies looking for flexibility and profitability can consider alternatives to zero-hour contracts, such as: As they have become increasingly popular, these contracts have also become more controversial. Here we sort out the zero-hour contract, what they can do – and what they can`t do for your business.
In 2016, several UK chains that had used zero-hour contracts announced that they would phase them out later in 2017. These included Sports Direct and two movie chains, Curzon and Everyman.  However, Cineworld, another prominent cinema chain that owns Picturehouse, has come under scrutiny for continuing to use the contract format, with protests against Ritzy Living Wage particularly prominent at London`s Ritzy Cinema.  This may mean additional staff to assist with holiday bustle at a retail store, or workers who sporadically assist at events as waiters or cleaning crews. Substitute teachers or gig workers are other examples of workers who do not have a guaranteed schedule. Zero-hour contract positions are inherently part-time. In the UK, it is estimated that for around 905,000 workers, a zero-hour contract is their main source of employment. Of all respondents with zero-hour contracts, 32% said they would prefer more hours. But apart from these rights, the rights of workers on zero-hour contracts are more advantageous than the rights of a worker. In 2011, zero-hour contracts were used in many parts of the UK economy: One difference between “employees” and “employees” is that workers have contracts with their employers that guarantee that they will get paid work that they cannot refuse.
Employees, on the other hand, have the option to refuse to work if they wish. Therefore, most people with zero-hour contracts are considered “workers”. Even if the contract states that a person is not obliged to accept the work offered, but will be punished in some way if they refuse to work and generally work a fixed schedule, they could legally be considered an employee. It is common for a zero-hour contract to confer the status of worker rather than the status of worker. Regardless of the status of your employees in your agreement with them, the corresponding rights above apply. Therefore, in order to determine whether a zero-hour contract constitutes an employment contract conferring the status of worker, the wording of the contract does not determine whether there is a mutual obligation in practice. The court will closely examine the reality of the agreement. If the reality is that there is a regular work model that is regularly accepted, the court may consider the contract to be an employment contract.  The zero-hour contract was introduced during the recession so that employers would not have to pay their employees when the company`s workload was decreasing. While this seems unfair because the worker has no guarantee of work, it has led many workers to consider themselves independent contractors or freelancers. Exclusivity clauses in zero-hour contracts have now been banned by the government under the Small Business, Business and Employment Act. This means that you can`t use clauses that prevent a worker with a zero-hour contract from working for another company, or even try to avoid doing so by asking the employee to ask permission beforehand.
An exclusivity clause can be ignored and is therefore unenforceable. Persons employed under a zero-hour contract may be employees or workers, as mentioned above, who depend on the written agreement between the parties and the working relationship/arrangement between the parties. Although, in most cases, people with a zero-hour contract are considered employees due to a lack of mutual obligations (the employer is obliged to offer work and the individual is obliged to accept the work offered). People who work are usually paid for the work they do. This is called either a salary (if it is related to a period of time, such as an hour) or a salary (if it is independent of the time required). The UK Government`s 2004 and 2011 UK Labour Relations Survey shows that the proportion of workplaces employing employees on zero-hour contracts increased from 4% in 2004 to 8% in 2011. The survey found that larger companies are more likely to use zero-hour contracts. 23% of workplaces with 100 or more employees used zero-hour contracts in 2011, compared with 11% of workplaces with 50 to 99 employees and 6% of workplaces with fewer than 50 employees.  Zero-hour contracts are controversial in the UK. British business leaders have backed them, saying they offer a flexible labour market.
 They may be suitable for some individuals, such as retirees and students, who want occasional income and are able to be completely flexible about their time of work.  It has been reported that 60% of people on zero-hour contracts are satisfied with the hours worked.  Labour groups and others have raised concerns about the possibility of exploitation and management`s use of such contracts as a tool to reward or reprimand workers for any reasonable or trivial reason. They also raise concerns about how workers can adequately enforce their labour rights or maintain decent labour relations.  A bill banning zero-hour contracts was passed unanimously on March 10, 2016 and came into force on April 1.  Zero-hour contracts should not be used if there is a better solution, such as: Although the economy has improved, it is expected that zero-hour contracts will continue to be widely used. Here are some reasons why: Zero-hour contracts, also known as casual contracts, may include: When you sign a zero-hour contract, you are entitled to the following benefits: With this in mind, a zero-hour contract usually implies that an employer cannot guarantee individual working hours or a defined work pattern. In Canada, on-call contracts may contain “no guaranteed minimum number of hours”, “no obligation on the part of the employer to provide work” and may be paid “in proportion to the hours worked.”  [best source needed] You might get the impression that zero-hour workers have no rights in the workplace. But that`s not true. As workers, they are. A zero-hour contract is suitable for companies that need a flexible supply of labor, as they can cope with changing demands or cannot predict the exact staff they will need at all times. A well-drafted contract respects the rights of zero-hour workers while giving companies the flexibility they want.
We`ve included an example of a zero-hour contract below.