Unlike a traditional contract of employment, a zero-hours contract offers no guarantee of work. Many employers use such contracts to cover situations where work fluctuates, and many individuals also find this to be a suitable working arrangement. However, there has been criticism of their widespread use in the UK. Although there is currently no legal definition for a zero-hours contract, employers need to ensure that written contracts contain provisions setting out the status, rights and obligations of their zero-hours staff.
This factsheet examines the business rationale for considering zero-hours contracts in the workplace, and the issues to consider when using zero-hours contracts (such as the employment status of the individual). It also examines legislative changes surrounding zero-hours contracts and puts forward good-practice recommendations for those areas where some employers need to improve their working practices.