Zero hours contracts are vital for flexible jobs market

“Zero hours contracts are valued by many workers and employers, but there isn’t a clear definition of what they are or how they should work. We welcome the government’s consultation as an opportunity to ensure best practice, but without jeopardising employment opportunities. Much of the negativity surrounding zero hours contracts misunderstands the vital role they can play in creating jobs. For example, they can be beneficial for students, older workers or those with caring duties who don’t want to be constrained by a fixed contract. And they allow employers to experiment with new services or markets.

“The UK’s flexible labour market has prevented unemployment from increasing to the levels economists expected during and following the recession. Excessive restrictions on zero hours contracts could lead to increased unemployment among exactly those groups who already face higher levels of unemployment, and for that reason we are pleased that the government is taking an evidence-based approach. Zero hours contracts are vital for a successful jobs market, but they must be fair and work for all parties.”