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Zero-hour contract

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Hello

I am looking into offering a job to a candidate on a zero hour contract. 

I would be grateful to read experience of practices who have staff on zero hour contract. Has it worked? How many staff do you have on zero hour contract? If it does not work out, you just say goodbye without the hassle of disciplinary and worse employment tribunal?

Also, suggestions on a reliable source where I can get a zero-hour contract template. 

Thanks

 

Replies (19)

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By Moonbeam
16th Dec 2017 13:25

Bad idea, I've found. The last time I used zero hour contracts was a few years ago. I felt I needed to be scrupulously fair so that employee got the benefit of this just as much as I did. It meant in effect that if she decided to do something else when I needed her to work then I couldn't ask her to come in.
I've decided future employees will be on a contract for particular days of the week that can be flexible to a minor extent, and goodbye to zero hrs contracts.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
16th Dec 2017 15:01

Zero hours contracts have a very bad image for a reason.

They are justified in only a very limited number of circumstances.

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By andy.partridge
16th Dec 2017 16:07

Unnecessarily risky.
You would need half a dozen suitable employees on standby to ensure that the right person is available when you want them. They will show no loyalty to you if you show none to them.

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By redcard
16th Dec 2017 17:26

It sounds like you have little faith in your recruiting abilities, or you are looking for someone to fill some god-awful role on terrible pay, with terrible conditions.

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By mrme89
16th Dec 2017 22:04

All well and good until they refuse to work throughout January.

They have no security, but neither do you.

You can’t build a practice based on dodgy foundations.

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By Manchester_man
16th Dec 2017 22:59

You're not Sports Direct! In a professional accounting firm, you're hardly going to attract quality staff by offering a zero hour contract.

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By marks
17th Dec 2017 00:26

Personally i see employers who take on employees on Zero Hour Contracts being the lowest of the low. I would ban them if I was in government.

How would you feel if you were in your potential employee's position being expected to;

1. Come in at the drop of a hat
2. Not knowing from day to day if they are required.
3. Having no security to plan for the future.

You either want to take on someone or you dont. If you dont think you have enough hours then at least give a contract for what you have.

If your worried that it wont work out then put them on a 6 month probationary period. You are bound to know if they are any good or not in that time and if not can get rid of them without any hassle.

Otherwise outsource the work either locally or abroad.

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Replying to marks:
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By legerman
17th Dec 2017 18:46

marks wrote:

Personally i see employers who take on employees on Zero Hour Contracts being the lowest of the low. I would ban them if I was in government.

They can work when used properly. I have someone who does some data entry for me and she is employed on an as needs basis. However she chooses when to do any work needed to fit around her full time job. It suits her and it suits me.

One of my clients has a catering company, and employs some staff on zero hours for functions. As they don't have functions every week, yet sometimes maybe 2-3 functions a week, it would be impossible to give them fixed hours.

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bike
By FirstTab
18th Dec 2017 00:11

Thanks for the response.

For the employee in question and for us, zero hour contract is a good fit. Both parties would like to proceed with a zero hour contract. The other option we discussed was freelance. In reality should be an employee.

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Locutus of Borg
By Locutus
18th Dec 2017 07:29

Remember that zero hours works both ways.

He or she might not turn up next week, as they just fancy a week off to study ... or have found a better paid job.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
18th Dec 2017 09:50

Would not work for a professional office. They are only suitable in minimum wage style positions for students working in bars/hotels etc and no basis to build your business on.

If you are struggling for staff now offering them terrible T & C's is unlikely to improve your position.

I use 2 subcontractors but I have them on a retainer for a minimum of 20 hours each per month, to show some commitment otherwise they would not answer the phone to me at this time of year.

You seem to focus on ACCA gruaduates who always leave, for better positions why dont you go down the apprentice route via AAT that way you should at least get 3 or 4 years from them before they move on, from your sausage factory production line a young kid on less than £5 per hour feeding your scanner and other basic tasks would surely fit the model.

Failing that why dont you just outsource the work that will give you the flexibility of only paying for what you need and someone else has the headache of hiring the staff.

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Della Hudson FCA
By Della Hudson
18th Dec 2017 18:28

Hello, my very first employee was on a zero hours contract as I only needed help here and there and she just wanted a few bits that she could fit around her young kids. It suited us both.

I was under no obligation to give her work BUT neither was she obliged to be available for work. (It’s the one-sided contracts that aren’t fair)

I found it great when I was in start up mode but do take legal advice on hiring and firing employees.

Zero hours employees have the usual employment rights when it comes to things like holiday pay and termination. Payments etc are based on an average of the last few months hours.

All the best with finding the right person.

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Della Hudson FCA
By Della Hudson
18th Dec 2017 18:28

Hello, my very first employee was on a zero hours contract as I only needed help here and there and she just wanted a few bits that she could fit around her young kids. It suited us both.

I was under no obligation to give her work BUT neither was she obliged to be available for work. (It’s the one-sided contracts that aren’t fair)

I found it great when I was in start up mode but do take legal advice on hiring and firing employees.

Zero hours employees have the usual employment rights when it comes to things like holiday pay and termination. Payments etc are based on an average of the last few months hours.

All the best with finding the right person.

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By agknight
19th Dec 2017 11:57

I started from scratch and now have three part-time staff. Particularly being three and part-time I feel gives me some resilience, rather than having say two full time, and then one leaves....

Starting from scratch I had no financial option than to start with someone on zero hours. So I don't appreciate some of the nasty comments above about the practice. As is pointed out it works both ways and my first three employees were young keen intelligent lads looking to get a foot on the career ladder. The downside was that after six months they got better jobs. So now it is better for me to offer annual hours contracts.

That said if I had another young person literally knocking on my door as four of my employees have done, I would endeavour to help them. If I can give a few hours experience to a young person and they move on, that's fine. You never know when they may come back.

Whomever you employ it must be done professionally. I think you will find templates on the ACCA website, or I would look at ACAS - who are very helpful.

You should be aware that you cannot discriminate from day one and full employment rights are gained after two years. Of course you will pay holiday pay. I use Moneysoft payroll and I think this is a great little programme that prompts compliance on the more complicated aspects such as holiday and sick pay.

Addendum: I advertise(d) on Universal Job Match for free and seem to get sufficient applicants.

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By pauljohnston
20th Dec 2017 09:54

When I was made unemployed I took a zero hours contatct with McDonalds. This gave me flexibility when looking for a post in accounting and meant that I had money in my pocket.

Another option is to offer a very low guaranteed hours contact with extra hours when required. This can also be a fixed term contract. There are many students who use zero hours contacts and would not want or have to turn up at the same time and day every week.

Shame on all of you who read the newspapers and did not consider both sides.

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Slim
By Slim
22nd Dec 2017 10:37

I have someone on a 0 hours contracts, they are great and
pay them very fairly, it wasn't easy finding him though. When work is more consistent I will get them on perm part/full time.

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By MissAccounting
22nd Dec 2017 15:27

You're as bad as the Sports Direct tyrant Mike Ashely! Paying people peanuts while you flash the cash on all things Apple! We'll probably read in your blog next year that you forced a staff member to have her baby in the staff toilet while reconciling a bank account!

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Replying to MissAccounting:
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By tom123
24th Dec 2017 10:18

I hold no candles for Sports Direct, but these contracts can work.

We employ 30 staff (manufacturing) on normal F/T contracts.

In addition, we have a highly skilled welder on 'zero hours' who fits another day or so each week around his rolling shifts with another employer.

Having said that, whilst the contract does not specify actual hours, it does envisage around one day or so each week.

I would not want to run my whole business on zero hours though!

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By pauljohnston
30th Dec 2017 20:14

It may be that all of you who use sub-contractors may have to view the zero hours contract option.

Changes in the way we hold data is changing and it may be that allowing a sub-contractor over which you have little data protection control just wont fit.

I for one am in favour of zero-hours contracts as long as they work for both sides.

I cant see much difference between them and a sub contractor. Both have the option as to when to work

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