Zero-hour contracts have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many employers opting to use this type of contract to manage their staffing needs. However, for those who work under these contracts, it can be challenging to understand what rights they have. This article will explore the rights you have on a zero-hours contract.
Firstly, it is essential to know what a zero-hours contract is. A zero-hours contract is an employment agreement that does not guarantee any fixed hours of work. Instead, hours are offered to employees as and when the employer needs them. This means that there is no guaranteed level of work or pay.
Despite the lack of fixed hours and pay, zero-hours contract workers do have certain rights. For example, you are entitled to the national minimum wage, regardless of the number of hours you work. This means that if you work for less than the minimum wage, your employer is breaking the law. Additionally, you are entitled to rest breaks during your shift, and your employer must ensure that you take them.
You also have the right to request a written statement of your employment terms, which should include information about your pay, working hours, and holiday entitlement. This statement must be provided within two months of starting work.
Another essential right that zero-hours contract workers have is protection from discrimination. Whether it`s based on your age, gender, race, or religion, your employer must treat you fairly and equally. If you feel that you have been discriminated against, you have the right to raise a grievance with your employer.
One of the most significant concerns for zero-hours contract workers is job security. As there is no guaranteed level of work, it can be challenging to plan your finances and future. However, you do have the right to look for work elsewhere and to turn down hours that your employer offers you. It is worth noting, however, that if you refuse work too often, your employer may stop offering you shifts altogether.
Finally, zero-hours contract workers are entitled to holiday pay. This means that you will be paid for any holiday that you take, regardless of whether you work regularly or not. Your employer should calculate your holiday pay based on an average of your earnings over the past 12 weeks.
In conclusion, although zero-hours contracts can be uncertain, it is essential to know that you do have certain rights. You are entitled to the national minimum wage, rest breaks, protection from discrimination, a written statement of your employment terms, and holiday pay. By understanding these rights, you can ensure that you are being treated fairly and equally by your employer.