Zero hours contracts

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AnneLou

Free Member
Aug 3, 2011
267
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Lancashire
I'm quite confused by a lot of the recent publicity regarding the use of zero hours contracts by large national firms. The press are repeatedly reporting that zero hours contracts provide no holiday pay or sick pay. I was always under the impression that holiday pay is based on a form of "pro-rata" calculation for hours worked. Therefore any employee who works any hours for a company would automatically qualify for holiday pay irrespective of the contract they were on.
Can somebody please clarify this?
 

eldirect

Free Member
Jun 19, 2013
42
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Zero hours contracts would accrue as graeme says. They are getting quite a big walloping in the press but for many, like students, the flexibility the zero hours contract offers can be a big win. You have a pool of infrequent working student bar staff and call them when shifts need filling, they can turn them down with no comeback if they are busy.

The situation should be managed correctly but can be very effective for both parties if done correctly.
 
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Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,203
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Newcastle
Zero hours contracts accrue holiday pay.

Whether they qualify for SSP would depend on how they are used. If an employee works the same hours and days of the week for a lengthy period of time, they probably qualify for SSP if they earn enough weekly. Of course this type of employment relationship is not really zero hours, whatever it says on the tin.
 
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Chris Ashdown

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Dec 7, 2003
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Norfolk
The big problem is you do not qualify for any unemployment money yet the company can only give you say one hour a day

You can not get a mortgage or any form of credit as you cannot provide any guaranteed hours

There are very little ocassions when its in the employees benifit

You live on the whim of the employer and like going back 100 years, how can companies Like Amazon not be able to plan exactly how many people they need and give full time contracts with rush periods filled by agency staff

Unite and all the other unions dont give a fig unless they are fighting the government, but in this case nobody cares for the poor sods on zero hour contracts even the government who support them
 
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Newchodge

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Nov 8, 2012
16,203
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Newcastle
The big problem is you do not qualify for any unemployment money yet the company can only give you say one hour a day

You can not get a mortgage or any form of credit as you cannot provide any guaranteed hours

There are very little ocassions when its in the employees benifit

You live on the whim of the employer and like going back 100 years, how can companies Like Amazon not be able to plan exactly how many people they need and give full time contracts with rush periods filled by agency staff

Unite and all the other unions dont give a fig unless they are fighting the government, but in this case nobody cares for the poor sods on zero hour contracts even the government who support them

I agree. Technically you can claim benefits if your income is too low each week, although Ian Duncan Smith is getting round this by making claimants wait at least 2 weeks before they can get benefit. Even currently it is so much effort to try to put in a claim because of low hours that most don't.

Properly applied they can be beneficial to both parties. There need to be rules that are enforceable. For example 95% of an employer's weekly average hours should be on proper contracts, zero hours being used to mop up for unexpected surges and drops. But whatever rules they come up with the employers will find ways round and the government will let them because the interests of business come before the needs of the low paid.
 
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21blue

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Aug 29, 2013
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Zero Hour contracts benefit the employers who have different & unknown volumes of business, ie: hotels, restaurants & bars. These business don't know how busy they will be and as margins are tight cannot pay for staff they don't need on that day. The zero hour contract benefits the employer, however many employees wouldn't have jobs if these contracts were not available. The staff are mainly minimum working wage of £6.31 per hour and accrue holidays, but no sick pay. Not ideal for employees but better than no job!
 
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You can not get a mortgage or any form of credit as you cannot provide any guaranteed hours

I just want to say, this isnt quite true.

You will be very much restricted in terms of lenders available but its not impossible to get a mortgage. It will depend on what your previous pay slips show. If you can show say 12 months worth working a full time wage then some lenders would be happy to take that as your income no matter what your contract says.
 
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kulture

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Aug 11, 2007
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Whilst I can see that zero hours contracts are good for employers, they are unfair for many employees. It would be nice if an employer was restricted to say no more than 20% of employees on a zero hour contract. It would be nice if an employee was on a zero hour contract but over six months consistently worked over 30 hours a week, then their contract automatically becomes a 30 hour contract.
 
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Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,203
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Newcastle
Whilst I can see that zero hours contracts are good for employers, they are unfair for many employees. It would be nice if an employer was restricted to say no more than 20% of employees on a zero hour contract. It would be nice if an employee was on a zero hour contract but over six months consistently worked over 30 hours a week, then their contract automatically becomes a 30 hour contract.

Except, of course, the employer would make sure they didn't have the full 6 months consistently.

My last employer has a policy that all temporary staff must be dismissed after 11 months, even if they were doing a great job and there was an on-going need for them.that way they didn't get unfair dismissal rights. And that was a trade union!
 
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This looks like a complete minefield. Here is an interesting discussion though: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4329555&page=1

It seems that the rules here are open to much interpretation of abuse as on a zero hours contract you are classed as a worker and not an employee. There is a legal difference. Holiday pay can even be "wrapped up" in the normal hourly rate meaning that you don't actually get a holiday entitlement as such.
 
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Any one on a zero hours contract would be entitled to holiday pay. It is worked out on a pro rata basis, usually 12.07% of hours worked.

Yes there is a lot of back lash for employers using zero hours contracts however it is important to note that whilst the employer is not obliged to offer hours - the employee is like wise not obliged to accept any hours.

There is much talk about getting rid of zero hours contracts which begs the question 'won't that just lead to employers then giving say a 1 hour a week contract with the opportunity to work extra hours as over time?'

My advice is to discuss your business needs with an Independent HR Consultant who can advise you on the best options for your business whilst keeping your employees engaged ...just a fancy term for meaning happy! :)
 
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