When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Advice for East Lancashire businesses on zero hour contracts
AN employment lawyer has warned that businesses who are utilising ‘zero hours’ contracts to employ staff should consider changing workers’ contracts.
Victoria Mitchell, of Farleys Solicitors, Blackburn, also warned that employees who may have been employed on such contracts for a length of time, but are actually being asked to work regular and consistent hours, could be ticking a ticking time bomb for employment tribunal claims.
It is now thought that in excess of 1million UK workers are employed under such contracts, with companies including McDonald’s, Wetherspoons and even Buckingham Palace being found to employ workers under such terms.
Victoria said: “Zero hours contracts are not actually defined in law.
“In practical terms, however, they are a type of casual employment agreement in which the employer does not guarantee any set or minimum hours; paying the worker only for the hours they work.
“Part of the reason for the recent controversy surrounding zero hours contracts is that under such an employment agreement, employees are not afforded many of the rights such as paid holiday entitlement and sick leave.”
Traditionally popular in leisure businesses, where demand for staff can fluctuate depending on factors such as the weather and therefore allowing employers flexibility and reduced risk of overstaffing, several other types of organisations have recently been seen to increase their use of zero hours contracts.
These include retail businesses, charities and even local councils.
Victoria added: “Employers should also be aware that if they originally employed staff under zero hours contracts but the hours that those employees work have since become fixed and regular then contractual hours could become an implied term.
“As such, an employee could by virtue become entitled to ‘normal’ working rights and could bring a claim against an employer who refuses to afford these to them.”
Comments are closed on this article.