Zero hours contracts - new legislation introduced


September 03 2015


In mid-August, the Employment Standards Bill was introduced into Parliament and, amongst other things, deals with the controversial issue of zero hours contracts. A zero hours contract is a contract for casual working under which an employer doesn’t guarantee any hours of work but their employee is expected to be available for work when or if called on by their employer. Zero hours are, generally speaking, considered to be unfair to employees.

The Bill prohibits zero hour arrangements unless the employment agreement provides that an employee is entitled to ‘compensation’ for being available to work. The Bill does not define what compensation means, so it’s up to an employer and their employee to agree the level of compensation.

What do employers need to do? If you use zero hours contracts in your business, you should consider how you will adjust your employment agreements if/when the Bill becomes law. If you need any help on how to word these agreements, please get in touch with us.


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