Zero Hour Contract Cancer
Who here works on a zero hour contract?
There are four types of contracts available (to my knowledge) to employees: Permanent Full-Time, Permanent Part-Time, Temporary and Zero hour. The zero hour is the one to steer clear of; It's the cancer of contracts which is growing rapidly in the UK. Companies such as Sports Direct, McDonalds, Cotswold Outdoor and JD Wetherspoon all use this model.
Workers don't know what they will be paid week to week, or the hours they will receive. Employees are scared to call in sick for fear of losing their hours and the fact they don't get any sick pay anyway. Some companies don't even pay holiday. I myself have had only 1 week off in over 12 months. Not because I don't get holiday but because of the fear of not having any hours to go back to.
Workers can't 'top-up' their earnings with benefits because of the uncertainty of hours given week to week. They also can't apply for loans or get mortgages for the same reason. I saw one employees hours cut after he refused to go home early. The manager told him if he didn't go home 3 hours early then he would get less hours the following week. Employees feel threatened and worried.
In all it makes for an unpleasant working environment and unhappy employees who often are paid less than the minimum wage. We can only hope that something will be done to stop the way we as employees on zero hour contracts are treated. In the mean time I along with many others will continue to job hunt for the elusive permanent positions.