The term 'zero hours' is not defined in legislation, but is generally understood to be an employment contract between an employer and a worker, which means the employer is not obliged to provide the worker with any minimum working hours, and the worker is not obliged to accept any of the hours offered. 
 
It is important that both the employer and worker are aware of the fact that a zero hours contract can make their relationship different to other employment contract arrangements. 
Key points in this relationship are; 
 
Most zero hours contracts will give staff 'worker' employment status. 
Zero hours workers have the same employment rights as regular workers, although they may have breaks in their contracts, which affect rights that accrue over time. 
Zero hours workers are entitled to annual leave, the National Minimum Wage and pay for work-related travel in the same way as regular workers. 
 
However, in recent years this form of employment contract has been criticised by workers and trade unionists alike as being unfair. This criticism is mainly directed at employers who do not follow the principles of the definition outlined above. 
 
Accordingly, the Government has entered into detailed consultation and has suggested that following this consultation it intends to legislate to regularise the situation. It is widely expected that the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts of employment are to be banned. 
 
If you need help or further advice on Zero Hours Contracts, please give us a call so I can help point you in the right direction. 
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