This employment law guide explores the basics of zero hours contracts and offers guidance on how to avoid common pitfalls.

What is a zero hours contract?
A zero hours contract is one of several types of contract used to confirm the terms and conditions which apply to the working relationship between an individual and his/her employer.

Currently, there is no legal definition of a zero hours contract. Generally, the essence of a zero hours contract is that there is no guarantee that any hours of work will be provided to the individual, hence the term ‘zero hours’. Additionally, the individual is not obliged to accept any of the work offered to him/her by the employer.

These contracts are perfectly legal where they are freely entered into.

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• In which industries are zero hours contract common?
• What are the advantages to a zero hours contract?
• What is the employment status of someone on a zero hours contract?
• What rights does someone on a zero hours contract have?
• Zero hours contracts have received significant press coverage in recent months – what’s it all about?
• What is an exclusivity clause?
• What are the Government’s plans for the future of zero hours contracts?