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Zero hours contracts, Tribunal Fees and Settlement Agreements

Frances Nash, Solicitor at Ralli, talks about zero hours contracts. Things are moving fast in the world of employment law, fast but perhaps not forwards. In the UK, small and medium sized businesses employ over 90% of workers in the private sector.

It is not hard to understand why the majority of recent changes in employment law appear to be aimed at appeasing employers. Settlement Agreements replace Compromise Agreements and aim to give the employer and opportunity to negotiate with an employee the termination of their employment without running the risk of unfair dismissal proceedings.

Unfortunately there are many loopholes to this which mean those assurances are less weighty than envisaged. The same is true of ¬†Employee Shareholder’s whereby, in return for shares in the Company, the employee signs away certain employment rights. Nice idea in theory but not so good when considered in detail. Until last week, most people had not heard of the term zero hours contract’s and even less properly understand what it actually means in terms of rights of the worker.

There are those that say zero hours contracts offer flexibility for both parties and that, without them, unemployment would be higher.

For some, this type of arrangement can work but in the majority of cases many workers are simply being exploited. We also wait with baited breath to see what impact the introduction of tribunal fees will have on the number of claims brought by disgruntled employees.

I would venture that those claimants who are considered vexatious will be no less determined to bring claims but those with genuine issues who seek and are entitled to recompense will be denied that right.