Zero-hours contracts mean far worse than ‘no guaranteed hours’

Zero hours contracts are in the news at last. Almost a year ago I highlighted how these onerous contracts represent a form of bonded labour that effectively enslaves employees to the convenience of their employers, while guaranteeing them no secure income at all. It seems like an apposite time for a reblog on this important issue.


(If you’re reading this and you’re on a ZHC and would be willing to contribute your story toward a project I’m planning on the impact of ZHCs, please let me know via the comments section of this post!)

I wrote last night about the information I’ve started to find out about ‘zero-hours contracts’ in the NHS. The issue of zero-hours contracts generally has started to receive some media coverage recently, but the scale of the problem in the UK is very hard to quantify, because commercial companies are not generally subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and do not have to declare the numbers they employ on these contracts.

Because the NHS is subject to the FOI Act, the scale and extent of the use of these contracts in the NHS is a useful barometer of the wider problem of these contracts in the UK. My article last night…

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8 responses to “Zero-hours contracts mean far worse than ‘no guaranteed hours’

  1. Pingback: Zero-hours contracts mean far worse than ‘no guaranteed hours’ | The SKWAWKBOX Blog | this 'n that·

  2. I’m no expert on employment law but I can’t understand how a zero hours contract can be binding?

  3. I heard somewhere that some of the “back-to-work” schemes involve zero-hours contracts.
    IE you give up your benefit to take a job, you find that you don’t get any hours and hence no pay. So you sign on again but find you don’t get benefits because you made yourself voluntarily unemployed.
    I’ve just re-read that. Could it really be true?

  4. Pingback: Zero-hours contracts mean far worse than 'no gu...·

  5. I’m just a simple layperson but can see that many employers are avoiding the governments ‘automatic enrolment into work pension schemes’ by only offering these type of contracts. 0 hours contracts also discourage ‘self enrolment’, as anyone with such a fragile guarantee of salary will not commit to a pension so, again, neither does their employer have to contribute.

  6. I’m waiting right now for a call from my ZHC employer to let me know what hours I’m due to work tomorrow. It’s always a tense time.
    At least my working days are fixed on a rota. Well done for drawing attention to this issue.

  7. Pingback: DWP minister Hoban gets JSA amount WRONG – and jobseeking unaffordabl | The SKWAWKBOX Blog·

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