Zero-hours contracts breed mistrust

A new study has claimed that employees on zero-hours contracts are too afraid to search for a new job and feel excluded from the sense of security other full-time workers enjoy. The conciliation service Acas, which compiled the report, said it was receiving about 70 calls a week about zero-hours contracts, with a feeling of ‘effective exclusivity’ of being tied to one employer emerging as a major concern. Sir Brendan Barber, chair of Acas, said: ‘Our analysis reveals that many workers on zero-hours contracts experience a deep sense of unfairness and mistrust that go beyond the use of exclusivity clauses. A lot of workers on zero-hours contracts are afraid of looking for work elsewhere, turning down hours or questioning their employment rights in case their work is withdrawn or reduced.’

Barber added that the deep-rooted exclusivity can be very damaging to trust and to employer relationship. There also appeared to be a lack of transparency on contractual arrangements. He said: ‘Many people did not seem to even know that they were on a zero-hours contract and some believed they were on a permanent contract due to the length of their service.’ Acas has recommended new guidance on zero-hours contracts so that both employees and employers are very clear on the working arrangements they are agreeing to, in response to the government’s consultation into employee agreements in March…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the IBB Solicitors briefing.

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