Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
Are you still employed by them?
Hi there, thanks for getting back to me. The starting point is that as a zero hours contract worker you are not guaranteed any hours and there is no obligation on the employer to offer you any work. So they can give you full time hours one week and drop it to zero hours the next week. The fact that you have worked for them for a number of years does not automatically change things. Their decision to drop your hours could be as a result of a wide ranging number of things, even if you had not actually done anything wrong. They wold only be in potential hot water if their reasons were discriminatory and that means because of your gender, age, race, religion, disability, etc. I see no evidence of that being the case here so from a legal perspective they are entitled to do as they have.
The only potential argument you have against that is if you can show that the hours they have given you over the years have been consistent, from a point that you did end up getting more or less the same hours all the time and it was clear from their treatment of you that you were being treated as a permanent employee with these hours as a norm. This is where the hours could have become a contractually implied term through custom and practice.
This area of law is rather complex and it is usually only down to the courts to establish with certainty if something had become an implied term. Nevertheless, it does not prevent employees from directly raising this argument with their employers and you could try and say that you are not a zero hours worker any more but one with contracted hours based on the hours you have been consistently asked to work for years.
They could of course deny that and refuse to discuss the matter and if that is the case then you can only realistically challenge this by taking your case to an employment tribunal, although you are free to raise a grievance with the employer first to try and deal with this internally.
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