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Take action - unions are fighting to stamp out zero-hours contracts

Over half of zero-hours contract workers have had a shift cancelled at less than a day’s notice. And they can miss out on basic rights like sick pay. We think these contracts are unfair and should be banned.
Ban zero hours contract demo photo

A zero-hours contract is one that gives you no guaranteed minimum number of hours each week.  

So they make your work unpredictable – one week you could be doing 30 hours, the next just three. Everything is at the whim of your employer. How do you budget for your mortgage or rent, or arrange childcare?

That’s why unions are fighting to stamp out these contracts.

Unions make sure every job is a decent job and everyone at work is treated with respect.

Last year unions won: 
•    the right for waiting staff to keep their tips
•    better pay for workers at McDonald's
•    new rights for Ryanair pilots and cabin crew
•    and many more improvements to workers’ lives.

What can you do?

You can pledge to stamp out zero hours contracts during 2019 by: 

•    sending a message to your MP asking them to “pledge to ban zero-hours contracts”.  Find your local MP

•   Sign the petition calling for a ban on zero-hours contracts

There’s strength in numbers. So why not see if your friends and colleagues at work want to join up to a union too, and all do it together.

More information about how to get involved will be provided over the coming weeks. Sign up to our mailing list to get the latest HeartUnions updates.

What is Zero hours contracts

  • Zero hours contracts normally mean there is no obligation for employers to offer work, or for workers to accept it.
  • Most zero hours contracts will give staff ‘worker’ employment status.
  • Zero hours workers have the same employment rights as regular workers, although they may have breaks in their contracts, which affect rights that accrue over time.
  • Zero hours workers are entitled to annual leave, the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage and pay for work-related travel in the same way as regular workers.
  • Exclusivity clauses’, where an employer restricts workers from working for other employers are unlawful. There is no qualifying period to bring an unfair dismissal claim for this reason.

When are zero hours contracts used?

Zero hours contracts can be used to provide a flexible workforce to meet a temporary or changeable need for staff. Examples may include a need for workers to cover:

  • unexpected or last-minute events
  • temporary staff shortages
  • on-call/bank work

But some employers are using zero-hour and other insecure contracts to use the ability to cut hours as a means of control over workers.

Young workers are more likely to be on zero hours contracts. 36% of people on zero-hour contracts are aged 16 to 24, compared with 11% for all people in employment not on a zero-hour contract

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