By in Breaking News

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.

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melody23 wrote on January 6, 2015, 1:20 PM

I am on a zero hours contract in the NHS and it suits me because I am at uni full time and at times I have spare time to work and at times I don't. Mine is different though because I decide when I work for the most part, I call them with my availability and they try and find me shifts 99% of the time they can find me shifts when and where I want them. I know that not everyone has a positive experience with zero hours contracts but it is not true that you cant claim benefit on them , you just have to estimate your 'usual' working hours, I get working tax credits and that's all they have ever asked me to do, employers also cant pay less than minimum wage to workers on zero hours contracts.

maxeen wrote on January 6, 2015, 1:40 PM

I feel so sick after reading this, I would sell big issue before I let those parasites rip workers off..

kat123456 wrote on January 6, 2015, 2:47 PM

Zero hour contracts are just not dependable but more and more companies are using them :(

WorDazza wrote on January 6, 2015, 2:50 PM

The zero hour contract can work for some people such as students. With that in mind I would say it should be illegal for anyone who is not a student.
There seems to be an alarming trend in employment these days, that being a return to Victorian values amongst employers. Flexibility is the key. You have to be flexible enough to bend over while they shaft you!!

WSEngland wrote on January 6, 2015, 2:59 PM

I beg to differ melody. I worked for the Holiday Inn for a year and they only paid £6.19 p/h even though I was over 25. They apparently got away with it because they provided us with 1 cooked meal per shift.

WSEngland wrote on January 6, 2015, 3:01 PM

If only everybody could maxedn but sometimes people have to take what's offered to them. Many people claiming benefits are pushed to take these contracts even though they'll end up earning less than being on benefits.

WSEngland wrote on January 6, 2015, 3:02 PM

I find it's rare to find a company that hasn't got them being used somewhere within the company.

WSEngland wrote on January 6, 2015, 3:04 PM

They always ask if the person is fully flexible in the interview haha. What that means is they ask you to work at all times of the day, pay you little and expect you to have no social life.

melody23 wrote on January 6, 2015, 3:08 PM

There are ways round almost everything and you will likely find you were being paid minimum wage 'charged' for your meals as in it was taken our of your wages, it will be some sort of legal loophole meaning that technically (as far the law is concerned) you were being paid minimum wage.

maxeen wrote on January 6, 2015, 3:18 PM

Well! Who knows what can happen with the terrific power of online petitions. Everyone has to help though!

maxeen wrote on January 6, 2015, 3:26 PM

There is a petition online now by 38 degrees against sports direct and their use of zero contracts..

38 degrees

Janey1966 wrote on January 6, 2015, 6:50 PM

Where are the Unions I say? I suppose people on zero-contracted hours aren't even allowed to join a Union. If that's the case it should change and the likes of Labour should be championing it. It's like going back to the 80s when people like me were on YOP Schemes, paid about £35 a week. That seems like a fortune compared to what's going on now. I reckon this decade has been the worst ever since I was born in 1966. It's horrible and exploitation of the workers is rife. emoticon :sad:

LeaPea2417 wrote on December 19, 2015, 11:47 PM

I have not heard of the zero hour. I do hope you come back here and write more and interact with the posts.