This guide, produced in collaboration with law firm Lewis Silkin, is designed to help employers ensure that they are using zero-hours contracts responsibly and understand the legal issues surrounding them.

It also includes information and key points for employees/workers to help them understand their employment status and rights under different types of zero-hours arrangements.

Organisations considering using zero-hours contracts should think carefully about the business rationale for doing this, including whether there are other types of flexible working or employment practices that would deliver the same benefits. In the CIPD’s view zero-hours contracts work best when the flexibility that they provide works for both the employer and the individual.

If zero-hours contracts are identified as the best option, employers need to be clear about what type of arrangements will suit them and what this means in terms of their responsibilities as an employer and the employment rights of the individuals engaged in this way.

'Because "zero-hours contract" does not have a specific meaning in law, it is important for employers to ensure that written contracts contain provisions setting out the status, rights and obligations of their zero-hours staff.'

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