Zero-hours contracts mean far worse than ‘no guaranteed hours’

Zero hours contracts are in the news at last. Almost a year ago I highlighted how these onerous contracts represent a form of bonded labour that effectively enslaves employees to the convenience of their employers, while guaranteeing them no secure income at all. It seems like an apposite time for a reblog on this important issue.


  1. I’m no expert on employment law but I can’t understand how a zero hours contract can be binding?

  2. I heard somewhere that some of the “back-to-work” schemes involve zero-hours contracts.
    IE you give up your benefit to take a job, you find that you don’t get any hours and hence no pay. So you sign on again but find you don’t get benefits because you made yourself voluntarily unemployed.
    I’ve just re-read that. Could it really be true?

  3. I’m just a simple layperson but can see that many employers are avoiding the governments ‘automatic enrolment into work pension schemes’ by only offering these type of contracts. 0 hours contracts also discourage ‘self enrolment’, as anyone with such a fragile guarantee of salary will not commit to a pension so, again, neither does their employer have to contribute.

  4. I’m waiting right now for a call from my ZHC employer to let me know what hours I’m due to work tomorrow. It’s always a tense time.
    At least my working days are fixed on a rota. Well done for drawing attention to this issue.

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