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I have clients that run pubs and restaurants and use zero hour contracts. However, one of these clients didn't give a member of staff any work this week and she has complained stating that because she has been working over twenty hours every week for over two years, that she isn't a zero hour contract worker and rather an employee! Is this right, even if her contract states zero hours guaranteed? - Crowther Image

What employers must remember is that any employment contract must reflect the true nature of the employment and there are lots of different types of contracts that can be issued, not one size fits all. I also see the employer/employee relationship change along the way and the original contract might not be the right one and might need changing too.

Zero hour contracts are fantastic, if they are used in the right way – flexibility on both sides, no guarantee of work from the employer, no guarantee the employee will do the work and certainly no penalties attached if the employee cannot work when offered.

A zero hour contract is meant to be a casual arrangement to enable employers to cater for changing levels of demand which can suit many different industries. However, if a worker on a zero hour contract regularly works the same hours, then their employment contract should reflect this, regardless of what their written contract states.

Having worked the same regular shifts for two years, it may be that their true employment contract is not a zero hour contract. A regular hour employment contract gives an employee greater statutory employment rights than a zero hour contract.

More than ever employers should be checking contracts and status of employees becuase of auto enrolment and eligibility of employees.

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