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zero-hour contracts – should they be outlawed?

5 August 2013

The number of workers employed on the controversial zero-hour contracts is four times higher than officially estimated – which has really forced the issue into the limelight.

However, is this just a sign of the times? At a time when many businesses face cuts, is this the best solution currently available?

Whilst zero-hour contracts may suit some people due to the flexibility they provide, critics argue that this could lead to fluctuating wages as well as a risk that managers may use such contracts as both reward and punishment.

A review of the contracts by Vince Cable is already under way with unions calling for a ban on them.

My concern is that banning such contracts may not be the answer as it may see more people without any work if employers are not financially in a position to commit to a minimum number of hours. I believe that if such contracts are used correctly and fairly they can benefit both employers and employees.

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