Categories:Employment,UK

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afraid of looking for work elsewhere, turning down hours or questioning their employment rights in case their work is withdrawn or reduced.’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…

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