Zero-hour contracts; they’ve been around for a while. While I was at university, I was working for a large cinema chain who had about 90% of their workforce on a zero-hour contract. This was a university city so these zero hour contracts suited us students well, it meant we had the flexibility to cut back our shifts during exam season or bulk them out when the latest Harry Potter movie had us all pulling double shifts!
They seem great in theory for businesses that can find themselves fully booked one week, and so quiet you can see tumbleweed the next. It means no one is paying out more money than they really need to be, and this my friends, is exactly the situation many of our hospitality and leisure venues are finding themselves in during this post-lockdown world.
So, it would seem like an easy answer to find a way to have all employees on zero hour contracts, but as businesses face uncertainty, so do their staff. The flexibility it gives might be great for the boss, but never knowing what sort of shifts you’ll get on week by week basis makes it near on impossible to live secure and full lives, especially if you’ve high rent costs (we’re looking at you, London), childcare, bills; the list is pretty much endless! A lack of secure employment and salary can ultimately lead to a lack of loyalty from your staff, something which businesses right now probably can’t afford either. So, is there some sort of middle ground?
Maybe instead of a week on week zero hour contract, it might be time to shift to something akin to a monthly rolling contract basis. Guaranteed set weekly hours on monthly contracts at a time, which can be extended or ended depending on needs of the business. This not only gives the employee some level of stability but also the consistency and loyalty to the employer, also an additional degree of flexibility should we end up in lockdown 2.0.
We as a boutique agency totally get the need for flexibility, so in addition to offering fantastic traditional permanent recruitment services, we’re proud to offer interim and rolling contract terms so you can reduce your costs, while still getting that hero on your payroll!
Date Published: 1st October 2020