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Zero-hours contracts

Published Wednesday, September 2, 2015

This note discusses zero-hours contracts; a type of contract used by employers whereby workers agree to be potentially available for work although have no guaranteed hours.

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This note discusses zero-hours contracts: a type of contract used by employers whereby workers agree to be potentially available for work although have no guaranteed hours.

Opinion on zero-hours contracts has been mixed. Employee organisations tend to argue that the contracts result in financial insecurity for workers who lack key employment rights; employer organisations stress their utility when seeking to meet fluctuating demand, and argue that they play a vital role in keeping people in employment.

In May 2015, the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 amended the Employment Rights Act 1996 to prohibit the use of exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts.  On 19 October 2015 the Government laid before Parliament draft regulations to support the ban of exclusivity clauses.

Commons Briefing papers SN06553

Authors: Douglas Pyper; Aliyah Dar

Topic: Employment

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