Zero hour contracts

For those in the micro and small business sector, the economy has generated some huge challenges. What we all seek is business and at an acceptable profit margin so that we can re-build fallen stocks, replenish drained financial resources and invest in the future of the business.

For some, the only way forward is to build capability by bringing on board extra pairs of hands which as we all know can be a bureaucratic nightmare with the complexities of employment law as it is. In businesses that are particularly affected by seasonal fluctuations the zero hour contract solution might be the only one available. On the one hand it provides a perfect solution for both sides if treated even handedly. However I believe It does have to be moderated with a strong ethical approach. It cannot be acceptable to ask someone to hold themselves available and on for example, the morning they are due to go in to work, tell them they are not wanted. This in any light is unfair practice.

We need to find a middle route in that if you have been “booked to work” and are then not required, you are paid at least something in compensation. Otherwise it would seem a way back to Victorian principles of labour management.

Roger House.

Regional Chairman Kent and Medway FSB.

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