Zero-hour contracts have always left opinions divided, with many criticising the instability of not having a guaranteed form of income, with others highlighting the flexibility of a role that is not strenuous or routine in its design. However, campaigners are now calling for a ban on Zero-hour contracts altogether as a campaign is launched to ban “evil” zero-hours contracts in the UK.
Millionaire businessman Julian Richer, Managing Director of Richer Sounds, the UK’s largest hi-fi retailer has backed a campaign which looks to highlight the negative impact zero-hour contracts while also providing free legal advice for zero-hours workers around the country.
Richer, who recently told staff at a Trade Union Congress (TUC) event “If we can’t give working people basic security, we should be ashamed” wants to ban zero-hour contracts in the country and for employers to give their staff permanent positions, with two-thirds of zero-hour workers now wanting guaranteed work according to a recent TUC study.
What are zero-hour contracts?
In the UK, a zero-hour contract is a type of contract between an employer and a worker, where the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours. While the worker is not obliged to accept any work offered, they may also risk the prospect of not being offered any work by the employer at all, as businesses with zero-hour workers look to staff who are able to accept shifts at short notice.
With employers under no obligation to offer future work to zero-hour staff, campaigners against zero-hour contracts highlight the unfair way in which staff are accepted to be on call for businesses as they find themselves in the situation of financial uncertainty and struggling to pay bills on time. While on the other hand they can be a stepping stone to permanent work, while also providing the opportunity for less skilled workers to add experience onto their CV.
What Get Licensed Says
Zero-hour contracts are an acquired taste, with a lot of workers pointing favourably to the freedom in which a zero-hour contract provides, while also giving staff more flexibility and choice to choose the number of hours in which they work. While we don’t think that zero-hour contacts should receive an outright ban, we do believe that workers should be giving all the tools and advice at their disposal to make an informed choice that is best suited to their own individual needs.