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Zero hours contracts consultation closes with over 30,000 responses
The 12 week consultation launched in December 2013 by Business Secretary Vince Cable following a review of evidence on the extent of the use of zero hours contracts conducted last summer, has now closed.
The consultation focused on 2 key issues that were raised in the summer review
- Exclusivity in employment contracts
- Lack of transparency for employees
A growing number of employers and individuals are now using zero hours contracts with the latest estimates at around 580,000.
These contracts are one of a number of flexible arrangements giving individuals more choice to combine their work with other commitments, but the summer review conducted by BIS last summer highlighted some abuse. The consultation is the first step in a process to crack down on any exploitation of individuals in the workplace.
Commenting on the consultation, Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “It is clear that a growing number of people are using zero hours contracts. While for some they offer welcome flexibility to accommodate childcare or top up monthly earnings, for others it is clear that there has also been abuse around this type of employment, which can offer more limited employment rights and job security.
“We believe they can have a place in today’s labour market and are not proposing to ban them outright, but we also want to make sure that people are getting a fair deal.
“This is why we conducted research last summer (2013) and launched a consultation looking at the key concerns, such as exclusivity clauses and the availability of clear information. We don’t think that people should be tied exclusively to one employer if it unfairly stops them from boosting their income when they are not getting enough work to earn a living. We also want to give employees and employers more guidance and advice on their rights and responsibilities around these types of employment contracts.”
The consultation received a high level of interest, with over 30,000 responses. The response to the consultation will be published in due course.
At Royds, our employment law team can advise employers on all aspects of employment as well as maintaining compliance in areas relating to contracts of employment.
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