Legislating against zero hour contracts would be folly says Permanent Solutions Direct
Zero hours contracts, which have recently been condemned by some politicians and trade union leaders, are useful for employers and employees – and legislating against them would be & lsquo;folly’, says Lisa Jarvis, managing director of the Gatwick-based recruitment agency, Permanent Solutions Direct.
Countering claims that some workers on zero hours contracts have been exploited, Lisa argues that, for many, they provide the sort of flexibility which suits modern lifestyles.
According to the Unite union, 208,000 people now work on zero hours contracts, a figure which has almost doubled over the past five years.
“It’s not as if they are revolutionary or new”, says Jarvis, who is a Recruitment and Employment Confederation Council board director. “They provide a risk-free arrangement, accepted by both employer and employee, and are particularly useful for companies in the retail or seasonal leisure and tourism industries.
“All that anyone on a zero hours contract needs to ensure is that they have a written agreement, clearly setting out the terms and conditions of the post. They are still covered by the fundamentals of employment rights and law, such as holiday pay, automatic enrolment for pension, protection from discrimination and Working Time Regulations.
“Because zero hours contracts suit many workers and employers, I believe it is essential that they are not restricted by further legislation.
“The economy seems to be on the mend. It’s vital that politicians don’t stop employers from hiring people on terms which clearly suit both parties.”