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Industry working to maintain the standards for zero hour contracts

Zero hour contracts have seen their fair share of press coverage throughout 2016, and thanks to a number of national businesses, much of this coverage has been negative.  Whilst we always ensure that our candidates are on fixed contracts of services and prefer not to use zero hour agreements, there are arguments for and against this type of contract, as when used appropriately, zero hour contracts can benefit an employee as much as an employer.

Many employees relish the opportunity to work on a zero hour’s contract as it absolves them of any commitment to the company.  This flexibility of hours is fantastic for those who are either working around family commitments, those who have a full-time job and are looking for a few hours a week to supplement their wages, and those who may only want seasonal work (such as students).

Some employers who utilise zero hour contracts argue that this form of contract ensures they receive the best from their staff.  If working in sales, the top biller knows they will get the most hours to help achieve their targets, a warehouse employee will get the best shifts, and in logistics, those that achieve all of their deliveries in the shortest time frame will be guaranteed work.

However, this form of competition between employees looking for the most hours or best shift patterns can also lead to unnecessary stress and poor working conditions.  Zero hour contracts can instil a constant sense of fear into employees who may feel they are not able to voice concerns or complaints in fear of losing their hours.

There can also be serious health and safety implications, as some employees may agree to jobs that they are not fit for because of fear that they may lose hours. In a number of cases these workers may cut corners to outperform colleagues.

A perfect example of this fear and health and safety malpractice has been seen recently.  A popular national brand experienced 110 ambulance call-outs to their main warehouse in just over three years due to employees undertaking tasks they were not fit to do.

Whilst the flexibility of zero hour contracts can benefit both employees and employers, those implementing these types of contracts should still acknowledge their duty to provide the same level of care and attention to an employee on a 40-hour contract.

Regardless of the contract type, at Recruitment Solutions we can always help to ensure that all of your employees are on the right fixed agreement, maintaining standards for both you as the employer and the staff you recruit. For more information on this, please call 0330 111 5353 or email info@rec-solutions.net.

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