By Anna Fletcher, Connie Cliff

The treatment of zero-hours workers, often considered to be vulnerable and at risk of exploitation because of poor working conditions and practices, has been the subject of intense media and, in turn, consumer interest. So how can retailers ensure that they do not become the focus of that scrutiny?

There is a common misunderstanding that zero-hours contract workers have no statutory rights. This is simply not true. Zero-hour workers will typically have ‘worker’ status under employment legislation which entitles them to rights such as the National Minimum Wage (NMW), holiday pay and statutory rest breaks. In addition some zero-hours contract workers may in fact be employees with an even greater number of rights.