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Zero Hours Contracts

TUC calling for a ban on zero hours contracts

Monday 8th of May 2017 08:00

With the election looming, the TUC is calling for the next government to tackle what they see as the problem of workers being engaged on zero hours contracts.

There are approximately 3.2 million people engaged on zero hours contracts, temporary or agency work or low-paid self-employment at the present time, with current trends predicted to raise this figure to 3.5 million at the start of 2022.

The TUC are looking for a ban on zero hours contracts, so that people are given a right to guaranteed hours, as well as calling for employment rights to be matched to the same as those on "standard employment terms". They say "hundreds of thousands could be treated like disposable labour" - but is this realistic in today's flexible working environment?

The real inequity of the original zero hours contracts was eradicated a number of years ago, with the banning of the often used clause to prevent a zero hours worker from having another job. Under that previous system, workers could find themselves being contracted to one particular employer, but without there being a guarantee of any work in any given week. With the eradication of that clause, a much fairer system appears to have been implemented, allowing flexibility for both the employer and the worker. Now, the worker is able to have zero hours contracts with several employers because they are now able to refuse work when it is offered by any employer. 

Many NGCAA member clubs engage people on zero hours contracts, for example to provide seasonal flexibility in bar or catering departments. At the same time as providing flexibility for employer golf clubs, zero hours contracts will very often suit the needs of certain classes of worker who benefit from the flexibility that goes with a zero hours contract.

What happens next will be fleshed out within the manifestos of each party, but it is unlikely that there will be a blanket ban upon zero hours contracts. It is possible that there may be a degree of equalisation of employment rights by certain of the parties, but it is most likely that a realistic and commercial approach to today's working practices will be the one that wins through.

For advice on zero hours contracts or other forms of flexible working within your golf club, please contact NGCAA


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