Download Zero Hours Contract Template for free


Zero hours contract - download free template

Free doc (Word) and pdf zero hours contract template suitable for any industry and essential when hiring new employees for your business.

Zero Hours Contract is a written contract that outline the terms of the working arrangement between an employee and employer in which the employee is not guaranteed to be given any work by the employer. This means that if employer has no work for the employee on a zero hours contract to do, then there is no need to pay the employee. Employer pays only for the worked hours of the employee.

It is also known as a 0-hour contract.

What is a zero-hours contract?

A zero-hour contract is a type of contract where the employer does not guarantee anything to the employee, in terms of how many hours they are going to work for a fixed time period. In this type of employment status, the employer calls up the employees whenever they need them. 

The employees working under this system are called casual workers or flexible workers. In this type of employment contract, zero-hour workers have a fixed hourly rate, but they don't have a guaranteed number of hours per week or month.

While these contracts are possible under employment law, they are very controversial because of the type of employment relationship they entail. The zero-hour employment contract gives employers a pool of workers that are available at all times, but this flexible workforce does not have a guaranteed minimum income.

The pros and cons of zero-hour contracts

This type of employment relationship is different compared to working regular hours and it may not be for everyone. If you have busy times in your operation, hiring zero-hour workers can make sense. Here are the pros and cons of using casual worker contracts.

More flexibility: zero-hours workers (agency workers usually) give your business more flexibility with whom you hire and when you hire them. You don't need to hire full-time employees and pay them all the time. This can lead to significant business cost savings.

Suitable for certain industries: when there is increased business demand, this type of business relationship can work out on an as-needed basis. Hospitality, retail, healthcare, are all industries where employment on a flexible basis works well.

Entry-level opportunities: working on a zero-hours basis is especially suitable for those who are just starting out in the workforce, such as students. Flexible agreements and the flexibility of workers is valuable if you cannot go into full-time employment.

Variety of work: these are favourable employment terms for people who want to try out working at different locations and with different companies. For example, hospitality staff, catering staff or any other type of casual staff - they can simply switch locations and employers.

Income instability: you can guarantee hours for staff in your team, and while there is a fixed hourly wage, employees won't know how much they can make per week or month.

Lack of basic employment rights: the employer and employee have fewer legal obligations compared to traditional employment setup. Employment protection rights typically don't apply throughout the employment process.

Limited career progression: working in this setup for an extended period of time can limit the career progression options. While they can get continuity of employment, the contract type combined with exclusivity clauses could hinder career progress.

Employment rights under zero hour contracts

The employees hired under this type of contract have some rights, but not all of basic employment rights. 

National living wage: employers are obligated to pay the future worker a minimum wage in the state where the work is being carried out.

Holiday entitlement: contractible workers have a right to get the number of holidays equivalent to the time they worked for a company.

Protection from discrimination: Similar to permanent employment contracts, zero-hour workers are protected against discrimination on the basis of race, nationality, religion and more.

Health and safety protection: regardless of the job title, zero-hour employees on casual employment contracts have the same rights in terms of protecting their safety and health. This is especially important for factory workers, agricultural workers, etc.

Statutory sick pay: the contract of employment covers the fact that if an employee is ill and they have proof for it, they should get statutory sick pay - it should be one of the core agreements for each contract.

For a better understanding of the contractual relationship between zero-hour workers and businesses, consult legal experts before constructing a binding document. This article or the template are not legal advice you should follow for your own use case.

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