Zero-Hour Contracts

There has been a bit of publicity about such contracts recently.  So, in case you are wondering – these are contracts that require an employee to be available for work, but will not guarantee any set number of hours.  This is a little different from a legitimate casual agreement where the employee does not contract to be available.  In essence a casual agreement enables an employee to say sorry, they can’t work a particular shift/day, when first asked.

However any casual worker knows that if they don’t take work when they are offered it, they will soon find they don’t get offered any more.  Banning a zero-hour contract is unlikely to work – they’d be replaced by 1-hour contracts – or require a minimum which means drawing a line that is probably impractical.

What we may see is a clamp down on practices that could be considered by many to be unfair – like cancelling shifts at short or no notice (after previously asking an employee to work it); restraining an employee from working for competitors when they don’t provide the work themselves; and deducting costs like the cost of a petrol station drive-off.

Are your contracts in order – do you have casuals properly identified?  If not you may need some help.

Need help managing staff?

Mike has a wealth of experience advising on every aspect of the employer-employee relationship. I can give you per-phone guidance or work along side you to make things happen.

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