Zero hours employment contracts will only be allowed for 12 weeks! Well that’s the plan if labour gain power at the election.

Ed Miliband is promising that employees on zero hours contracts will have them converted to regular contracted hours contracts after 12 weeks of working.

He is quoted as saying that the explosion of zero hours contracts in the UK shows this is needed. We’d argue just the opposite that in fact the “explosion” of zero hours contracts shows that employers need a flexible workforce as we battle to recover from the recession!

Zero hours contracts are not the root of all evil they are sometimes made out to be. They can work very well for both employer and employee in many situations. So whilst we’d agree that removing ways for employees to be exploited is a good thing, this move towards reducing or removing zero hours contracts is counter productive.

We’ll simply see more employers making the work arrangements more casual so as to not imply employment rights but to maintain “worker” status , or they’ll take staff on for short periods of time with breaks between employment periods to avoid the 12 week threshold. Or perhaps we’ll see the rise of employees on 5 hour a week contracts?!


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