Zero hours contracts are part of modern flexible working


Following debates in recent months about the moral implications of zero hours contracts, it has since emerged that zero hours contracts are in fact being used for the right reasons and provide a higher degree of flexibility which, to many businesses, is important in this day and age.  

HR Magazine reported that ‘CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese said anyone who protests against the use of zero-hours contracts is “out of touch” with the modern workplace. “Flexible working arrangements can have a positive influence on productive and engaging work environments and those who call for excessive restriction of zero-hours contracts or who rail against measures to encourage more flexible working are equally out of touch with the modern world,” said Cheese. He said the contracts could be an effective means of matching the needs and requirements of modern business.

The latest CIPD study found zero-hours workers are, on average, nearly twice as likely to be satisfied with having no minimum set contracted hours as they are to be dissatisfied. The most common explanation for this is that flexible working suits their current circumstances.’ 

So in an age when many industries cannot be restricted to the ‘9-5’ and financial and market pressures require businesses to operate at maximum efficiencies, flexible staff are an asset. In many industries, businesses must be flexible and react to unpredictable circumstances, changing environments and fluctuating demand. With an increasingly intelligent and demanding workforce who want to juggle an income with bringing up children, retirement or other projects, zero hours contracts are the answer, providing they are managed correctly.

Susannah Clements wrote in The Guardian: ‘Zero-hours contracts are one way of matching the flexible needs of employers and workers. Where that equation works well, to mutual benefit, people can be very happy with the arrangement. None of this is to gloss over poor practice. When people travel to work and are then told they’re not needed, or when they’re told there’s no work for them, but they’re not allowed to take work with another employer, then the mutual element of the arrangement has broken down.’


Check out our previous blog post on how technology can be used to help staff on zero hours contracts and ensure that the relationship stays fair for both parties;