By Pravin Jeyaraj
Of this group, 62% said that they were offered work with less than a week's notice their work schedules. 12% of this group, amounting to 7% of all working adults, were given less than 24 hours notice.
The situation is even worse in London, where almost half (48%) of all workers received less than a week's notice of work schedules.
Whilst some will value the flexibility offered by zero hours contracts, for many, not knowing whether there will be work from week to week - or even, from day to day - would create an inordinate amount of insecurity and stress. If you do not know whether you will have paid work each week, it is difficult to know whether you will be able to pay your bills or even plan your life with a degree of certainty.
At the same time, if you are earning below the Living Wage, the choice can often be between accepting the offers of work, rescheduling other appointments or rearranging childcare.
Zero Hours Justice's minimum criteria is that employers who use zero hour contracts should offer work with at least two weeks' notice and to pay some for compensation for agreed shifts cancelled at short notice. In addition, we urge them to review the actual hours worked of each zero hour worker and start a conversation with the worker about moving over to a fixed hours or minimum hours contract that accurately reflects hours worked.
Under its Living Hours programme, the Living Wage Foundation requires employers to both pay a real Living Wage and commit to providing at least four weeks’ notice for every shift, with guaranteed payment if shifts are cancelled within this notice period. Living Hours employers also provide a guaranteed minimum of 16 working hours every week (unless the worker requests otherwise), and a contract that accurately reflects hours worked.
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Images can be downloaded from here. Image of Julian Richer should be credited to Gerardo Jaconelli.