Workers on zero-hours contracts could be given the right to request fixed hours.
Okay, it’s not technically payroll and payroll services that are in the election news. As outsourced payroll service providers, it’s our job to make sure that people are paid the right amount, on time and that all Government/PAYE/HMRC legislation is adhered to. Legislation changes all the time, and there us a strong chance that legislation surrounding zero-hour contracts could change, post election
A Government-Commissioned Inquiry has been set up
This inquiry into ‘controversial working practices’ is due to report on whether employees on zero-hours contracts should be given the right to request a move onto fixed hours.
We understand that it will recommend the introduction of a “right to request” fixed hours to those on zero-hours contracts. As such, it is likely to be similar to the existing right to request flexible hours. The introduction of such a right would mean that employers would have to respond “seriously” to any request for fixed hours and give reasons for their decision.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) backs the idea, whilst there is also evidence that employers are already moving in this direction, with McDonald’s having offered all its staff on zero-hours contracts the chance to move onto fixed hours.
Interestingly, 20% of McDonald’s employees on zero-hour contracts had asked for the move to fixed hours. Some of the reasons for this request were that fixed hour contracts can be needed for car loans, mobile phone contracts and mortgage applications.
So Where Does the Election Come into it?
The 3 main political parties have proposed the following:
- The Conservative party, which commissioned the review, said it would look at new rights for people working in the “gig-economy” who are often classed as self-employed even though they may be regularly working for one company.
- The Labour party has proposed banning zero-hours contracts if it wins the general election.
- The Liberal Democrats have said they back a “right to request” change to employment regulations.
Whatever the outcome of the general election on 8th June, it looks certain that there will be changes in this area, which, ultimately will work their way through into payroll,
Once the changes come into force, that’s where we come in with our outsourced payroll services.
If you run a small business and are looking to outsource your payroll, contact us or call us on 0121 422 0550.