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Blog  »  April 2017  »  Premium rate for zero-hour contracts? - Blog
Apr 17

Posted by
Jennie Hussey

Premium rate for zero-hour contracts?

The Governments employment practice adviser, Matthew Taylor, has suggested that companies in Britain could soon be forced to pay a premium rate for short-notice work.

Employers would be incentivised to guarantee work in advance if they were made to pay more for every non-guaranteed hour, says Mr. Taylor, who is leading a review into labour rights. 

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Taylor said,"The problem with the labour market is not the security of work; it’s the security of income. A higher rate on zero-hours contracts could stop “lazy” employers from offloading risks onto workers and stop them from demanding “one-sided flexibility”.

According to figures from the Office of National Statistics, the number of people employed on zero-hours contracts in Britain has grown by 101,000 over the past year alone – and now represents 2.8% of all people in employment. This is leading to concerns that these types of non-guaranteed work practices are giving the employer the upper hand and has led unions to call for the government to tackle the rise in these contracts.

Mr. Taylor said, after he was appointed by PM Theresa May to lead the review on modern employment practices, which he hopes to “promote a national conversation and explore how we can all contribute to work that provides opportunity, fairness and dignity”.

“We can encourage employers to be less lazy about the transferring of risk. Even if it means an employer offers 15 hours a week rather than just one at least that is 15 hours that I can know I’m going to be able to pay my mortgage”.

The review will consider the implications of new forms of work on workers’ rights and responsibilities, as well as on employer freedoms and obligations.

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