Employment Law Cardiff

Effects of zero hours contracts on employees and employers

The prevalence of zero hours contracts between employees and employers is a controversial issue, with proponents arguing that the contracts are pro-business and aiding economic recovery, and detractors suggesting that it is detrimental to employees. Few will consider the zero hours contract a desirable thing but many will argue it is a necessary evil.

A major advantage of zero hours contracts to employers is that there is not a requirement to keep employees on the books when there is no work available, thereby cutting unnecessary business expenditures. Zero hours contracts allow employers to call on employees as and when they need them, allowing the cogs of industry and commerce to turn more smoothly without the complications of a dormant workforce on site. Through the creation of such a flexible workforce it can be said that the scales are tipped more in favour of employers than employees.

In the difficult post-economic downturn job market any opportunity for work can be counted as a blessing, including employment under the conditions of zero hours contracts. For those willing or able to work on short notice when required at sometimes unconventional times the zero hours contract can provide a sense of flexibility to employees, appealing to people with other commitments such as students. Despite the fact that the contracts do not guarantee a specific number of hours to be worked the employer is obliged by law to pay the employee the legal minimum wage.

However, disadvantages of zero hour contracts to employees include a diminished sense of job security, being called into work at inconvenient times and a sense of having less rights than other members of the workforce. Another concern raised about zero hours contracts is the possibility of long and uncompensated commutes and associated travel costs, an issue that was addressed in 2015 with measures proposed by the EU to pay employees for the time spent travelling from the domicile to the workplace. Is your live in South Wales make sure your rights are upheld with an established Employment Law Cardiff Solicitor’s.

In May of 2014 exclusivity causes, one of the most controversial aspects of zero hours contracts which prohibited employees from working for other employers, were banned and the new law was added to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. The ban allows employees on zero hours contracts to work for other employers but fears remain that employers will find ways to circumnavigate the ban, using whatever leverage tools available to them to discourage employers from working elsewhere.

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