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Insight

Zero hour contracts – the latest

Nick Thorpe
06/05/2014
For those of you who are following developments regarding zero hour contracts: The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has published its latest analysis of employee contracts that do not guarantee a For those of you who are following developments regarding zero hour contracts:

  • The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has published its latest analysis of employee contracts that do not guarantee a minimum number of hours, which includes zero hour contracts. The ONS estimates that there are around 1.4 million employee contracts that do not guarantee a minimum number of hours. The ONS analysis provides some interesting industry analysis, as well as detail around the types of people employed on zero hour contracts (including a statistical breakdown by age and gender).

  • It has been reported that one of the measures to be included in the Queen's Speech on 4 June 2014 is legislation concerning the use of zero hour contracts. If these reports are correct, then the Government's response to its consultation on the use of zero hour contracts should be published shortly.

  • Finally, it is being reported today that job seekers may risk losing temporarily Jobseekers' Allowance if they refuse an offer of work under certain zero hour contracts. It is understood that job seekers would not be required to accept an "exclusive" contract, which prevents a zero hour worker working for another employer – but would be required to accept other types of zero hour contracts. This measure has been criticised by those advocating a crackdown on the use of zero hour contracts, but is perhaps an indication of the Government's current thinking on the future use of such contracts under any proposed, future legislation.

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