Use of zero hours contracts continues to rise

Print publication


It may well be that this significant increase is attributable to increased awareness by employees of the concept of ‘zero hours’ contracts. Against this background, the UK’s current unemployment rate stands at 5.8%, the lowest in 6 years. Many take the view that this low rate reflects the number of individuals who are in work ‘on paper’ but who do not have the security of regular hours.

Zero hours contracts remain under intense political and media scrutiny with most of the main political parties proposing new regulation and control in the use of such contracts. Employers who regularly engage workers on zero hours contracts may well be required by law to convert the zero hour’s contract into a fixed hour’s contract after a certain amount of time.

Employers who use zero hours contracts as a substantive part of workforce planning may wish to conduct a review of existing arrangements including whether any structural changes may be required now or in the foreseeable future to minimise the risk of claims or additional payroll costs.