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The ARC responds to Zero Hour Contracts debate

The ARC responds to Zero Hour Contracts debate

Zero hour contracts have been the subject of some critical and selective news reports in the past few weeks. However they can be welcomed by many workers and should not be dismissed out of hand.

Health, leisure, social care and education are all sectors which have used zero hour contracts for many years without generating controversy. 

People who are retired (or semi-retired), students and those with family commitments often find that the flexibility of not working set hours every week suits their lifestyles.

Adrian Marlowe, Chairman of the Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC) said: “Workers have a choice about whether they accept a zero hour contract, it is mutually agreed and mutually beneficial. The worker gets paid employment and the employer gets a flexible workforce which is essential in certain sectors where demand fluctuates.

“Contrary to some recent reports, workers on zero hour contracts do benefit from statutory holiday pay, sick pay, redundancy pay and other employment rights.

“Unfairness can arise, however, if an employer prevents a worker taking up job opportunities elsewhere whilst not providing work themselves. My advice to employers concerned about the current negative press is to outsource the recruitment of zero hour contract workers to a reputable agency. Recruitment agencies have successfully operated zero hour contracts for decades without problems.

“The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, is currently reviewing these types of contracts and we have written to his office explaining that ARC is more than happy to help by providing insight and research into the issue. I suggest that we all wait for the official government outcome before jumping to negative conclusions.”

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