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Rise in Zero-hours contracts

In 2015 the number of workers on zero-hours contracts for their main job stood at 801,000 which was an increase by 104,000 since 2014. This mean that 2.5%o of the employed workforce are on Zero-hours contracts. This is the highest figure since the Office for National Statistics (ONS) started monitoring the number of zero-hours contacts.

Zero-hours contacts allow employers to hire staff with no guarantee of work. Usually this means employees work at short notice and only when they are needed. This is certainly not reliable for people who have bills to pay. As this also means employees are paid dependent on the number of hours work.

Employers use them because some say zero-hours contracts allow them to take on staff in response to fluctuating demand for their services. Sectors such as Christmas staff working in a clothing store. Employers also say that workers appreciate this as they are given a lot more flexibility.

Zero-hours contract are controversial. Zero-hours contracts do not offer enough financial stability and security. However from studies the ONS found that on average employees on zero-hours contracts work 25 hours per week. Employees on zero-hours contracts do not have the same employment rights as those on traditional contracts, many people believe that employers are using this to avoid employers’ responsibilities to employees.

Companies such as Sports Direct, Cineworld and JD Weatherspoon have adopted the zero-hours contracts for their employees.

For more advice or help on this call our Manchester offices to speak to a member of our team on 0800 020 9542 or email

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