Zero-hours contracts have dominated the headlines in recent weeks, after it emerged the working practice has risen dramatically.
Zero-hours contracts are part of a flexible working structure, where employees have no set minimum hours or working schedule. Employers are not required to guarantee any work for their staff, and employees are only paid for the hours they work (rather than on a salary basis).
A report from The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that up to 4% of the nation’s workforce could be on zero-hours contracts, amounting to 1 million workers in the UK.
Of these flexible workers, 14% have said that they are not given enough work every week.
Business Secretary Vince Cable has voiced his concerns over the increase in zero-hours contracts, saying it has resulted in “some exploitation”.
CIPD Chief Executive Peter Cheese said “Zero-hours contracts, used appropriately, can provide flexibility for employers and employees and can play a positive role in creating more flexible working opportunities.
“However, for some this may be a significant disadvantage where they need more certainty in their working hours and earnings… Zero-hours contracts cannot be used simply to avoid an employer’s responsibilities to its employees.”
Have you ever worked on a zero-hours contract? Do you think it’s a good or bad way of employing workers? Leave us a comment with your thoughts.