Zero-hours contracts – friend or foe?

What is the development?

Our May post featured the first in a series of articles for HR Zone in which we’re collaborating with our friends at The House.

The second of these, on the subject of ‘Zero-hours contracts – friend or foe?’ has just been published on HR Zone, which you can read here.

Zero-hours contracts have received a lot of attention in the press over the past couple of years, including some high profile cases of businesses using (and ‘abusing’) zero-hours contracts. This publicity has resulted in some businesses fearing similar criticism if they use these type of arrangements.

In this article, we try to redress the balance in the debate about zero-hours contracts and look at some practical considerations to help businesses to achieve a balanced approach.

What does this mean in practice for employers?

If you have a genuine need in your organisation for flexible arrangements to meet the ebb and flow of demand, perhaps you need to look again at zero-hours arrangements. Avoiding them completely, when there is a genuine need, can push employers to other options which could be even worse for everyone concerned.

Just make sure you ask a few key questions first, which we highlight in our article. The recent government guidance on the use of zero-hours contracts is particularly useful in highlighting some practical issues.

Our comment

Zero-hours contracts are neither friend nor foe. That said, it is right to approach them with a degree of caution, as your organisation is then more likely to use them only where really justified and in a way which balances your organisation’s needs and values with fairness to the individuals concerned.