Copyright Moore Barlow LLP (Moore Blatch and Barlow Robbins merged May 2020)

Potential new protection for zero-hours

A government consultation, which ends this month, could mean that workers’ actual hours are written into their contracts and that last-minute shift cancellations are compensated for.

The level of compensation awarded could be calculated according to: how much the worker would have earned from the hours or shift; their national minimum wage (NMW) rate multiplied by the number of hours cancelled; and/or a set multiple of their NMW rate.

Under the proposed rules, workers would be entitled to “reasonable” notice of their work hours with employers being penalised if they fail to do this. However, what constitutes “reasonable” is not yet clear.

The consultation is part of the Government’s “Good Work Plan” to overhaul UK workers’ rights and tackle issues relating to flexible working.