How employers abuse zero-hours contract workers

An excellent first-hand account of the way Zero Hours Contracts exploit the workers forced onto them. Mike’s also reblogged this over at Vox Political, and I completely concur with his comment about the shameful bias of the BBC in presenting such contracts as somehow good for employees. They may well be good for some of the over 50s, who don’t need to work, but just want a little bit extra. If there are people in that position, good for them. But most aren’t. Most of the people caught in them are much younger, and suffer poverty and problems with the Job Centre as a result of the extra hours worked. I had a friend, who was told by his Jobcentre that they would not give him any benefit unless he presented them with a wage slip showing that he had not been paid. He could not get one, as it was not company policy to give wage slips, unless the person had worked. Catch 22, and my friend got no benefit for the week he didn’t work.


Recently I’ve had a few people commenting to me that zero-hours contracts (ZHCs) are not malignant or exploitative, but rather vital to business and employment. Just a few minutes ago I watched a business owner, on BBC Programme “The Big Questions”, completely misrepresent ZHCs as giving flexibility to one of his older workers who doesn’t want to work full-time and great for young people, when the reality is that a ZHC puts the employee completely at the convenience of the employer.

The following was posted as a comment to my first blog article about ZHCs. It tells its own story, which I won’t embellish except to say that it shows perfectly how these abhorrent contracts are being exploited by unscrupulous companies to put the people under them in an invidious position:

Hi Steve, I recently moved from a Relief (casual) to zero-hour contract along with every other Relief staff…

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