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Zero Hour Contracts: A Friend Or Foe To Employees?

Zero Hour Contracts: Helpful or Harmful for Employees?

Are zero-hour contracts right for you?

Zero hour contacts are a fairly new phenomenon in businesses and have widely gained popularity in recent years. Zero hour contracts initially emerged as a means to income during recession in the early 90’s. Now a day, it has been observed that every 3 out of 10 businesses include zero hour contracts as an option during employment. Although these contracts are extremely flexible, they do not provide the employee will a stable foothold in the industry threshold.  As employers are trying to find ways to cut back business costs, it is the employees who find themselves in a vulnerable position.

Rise of the controversy

Zero hour contracts do have their pros and cons. On one hand they provide a source of income, it makes sense to earn an amount equivalent to the hours of work one puts in. On the other, it doesn’t secure the employer’s position in the company and could leave him unemployed for a reasonably wide span of time. The employer can also call upon the contracted employee at any given time without prior notice, making it extremely difficult for the individual to put together a personal agenda. In many cases, these men travel long hours to reach the workplace only to be assigned an hour’s work and then told to leave. It not only completely exhausts an individual but diminishes his morale as well. Most enter into these contracts with a livelihood dependant on it and not many of them are able to suffice on the incoherent wages and stipulations set.

The employees’ plight

There is no stability of a regular paycheck.  The employee never knows what he has in store for himself. He cannot depend on the contract to pay off the bills and expenses that come in every month like paperwork. It becomes difficult to raise family and care for dependants. As they are tied to the contract in one particular association they cannot apply for jobs in other organizations as it is unpredictable to know when they will be called on duty. All the employees’ resources and time are allotted to one specific, unsteady job. Some however, have found the balance between managing two contracts at any one given time. For these individuals income is stabilized and there is a plan b incase plan a does not prove to be as fruitful as initially conceived.

Unfair dismissal

Unfair dismissal is the term incorporated by the UK labor law to indicate a dismissal of the employee by the employer under the Employment Rights Act, 1996. It states that is against the law to forcefully end the employee’s work tenure under circumstances that indicate discrimination on behalf of the employer under the Equality Act, 2010. If any employee feels he has been discriminated against he has the right to take up a case against said organization or individual involved. The reasons he states must be proved adequate in the court of law and an evaluation is done and the given reasons are compared to the predetermined set of approved reasons.

Ultimately every individual should be treated fairly and given the opportunity to make a good, earnest livelihood. Friend or foe the zero hour contract system I here to stay. Whether it proves to help the common man’s plight or send him further into the pit of unemployment is yet to be seen.

About the Author

Today’s guest post is authored by Keith Shelby of Access Solicitor. He loves writing articles on law and business related article. He says positive thinking is the key to success.


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Author:Globial International Business Team

The Globial International Business Team researches, analyzes, and reports on all things related to global trade and business.


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