Zeroing in: balancing protection and flexibility in the reform of zero-hour contracts

Given the value placed on zero-hour contracts by some employers and workers, and the incomplete picture of their scale, an outright ban seems inappropriate at this time. But maintaining the status quo would overlook the poor use of these arrangements in a considerable minority of cases.

The problems go beyond the exclusivity clauses that were the sole focus of the government's recent consultation on zero-hours contracts and include workers not knowing the terms of their contract when they are hired; having their hours changed without adequate warning; and facing negative consequences for refusing to accept additional hours.

This report makes a number of recommendations that respond to these concerns and seek to strike a better balance, providing protection and choice for workers while ensuring flexibility is maintained for employers.