With zero-hour contracts, people are not guaranteed work and do not have a ‘fixed’ income as it were. It is a type of contract in which people engage in work on an ad-hoc basis where they have the freedom to accept or reject work from their employer. With employees rejecting work offered from an employer, employees run the risk of not being offered any more work in the future. Many people are unsure of their rights on a zero-hour contract, so let’s take a look at them now.
It is a flexible alternative for both people to engage in work and for people to offer work that is not frequent enough for a set hour contract. Employees with a zero-hour contract are not given any minimum hours as employers are not legally obligated to, and employees are within their right to refuse work from their employer. Employees are entitled to paid holidays, national minimum wage/national living wage, pay for the time spent being on call and being prepared to go into work and pay for any travel employees need to undertake for their job.
Reminiscent of other employees, employees on zero-hour contracts are entitled to breaks and the same amount of hours rest between working days. Employers are also not allowed to include an exclusivity clause in a zero-hour contract which would restrict an employee from engaging in another job, which is to be expected for some people on zero-hour contracts. Employers are also not allowed to treat employees unfairly if they work for another employer and are not allowed to dismiss anyone for working for another employer. Moreover, there are no differences in the way that employers are responsible for zero-hour contracted employees when it comes to pay and their health and safety at work.
There are positives to a zero-hour contract in that they provide a deal of flexibility and the freedom to pursue other fields of work. But by the same token there is no fixed income and there is the risk of missing out on benefits. Zero-hour contracted work can lead to permanent work which is always a positive for people who may be looking for something in the interim in the hope it leads to something more stable.