Zero Hours Contracts

The zero hours contract consultation highlighted the benefits of having flexible working arrangements but where they were being abused was not acceptable.  The Government have come out and will now outlaw exclusivity within zero hours contracts.  Clearly this is common sense; how can you enforce exclusivity when you don’t give work in the first place?

Whilst I welcome this change, I am concerned about how this will be enforced and policed. The Government will start yet another consultation on this to determine strategy although they have at least shown intent to do something and this is a big step forward for closing exploitation of workers.

Using an umbrella, zero hour contracts are not used as this would not represent the overarching employment given by umbrella companies although within agencies zero hour contracts are continuing to be used.

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HMRC Name & Shame: National Minimum Wage

This weekend HMRC listed another 25 employers who have flaunted the national minimum wage rules and underpaid members of their staff.
What is fascinating is that they are all small employers and the real abusers are still being protected. A premier league football club was not named; yet had 3,000 workers underpaid and closer to home, a recruitment company was ordered to pay £167,000 yet wasn’t named either.  It seems that should a case be dealt with through the civil courts then the protection of the courts comes first and therefore taxpayer confidentiality applies.
This doesn’t seem fair, it’s almost like you would want to go to civil court, just to avoid being named and shamed.
I am sure that one of these companies will bring a case before the human rights court considering some of the shortages were only hundreds of pounds, yet the big employers got off without even a mention.
Umbrella companies should always be paying PAYE on at least the national minimum wage otherwise they too could find themselves either named and shamed or indeed in front of a civil court.

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