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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Ben We have most of our teachers on permanent zero hour

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Hi BenWe have most of our teachers on permanent zero hour contracts. Some are contracted but must not.We have some zero hour staff that have been with us for between 5 and 20 years.My question is if staff are on zero hour contracts do we have to give them work?Some of them work a lot of hours in the summer but little to no hours in the winter months.Is it possible to just stop employing some members of staff?The reason I ask is that we have a few very long standing members of staff on zero hours that we want to get rid of due to performance and attitude . Rather than go through a lengthy capability procedure we would prefer to keep them in the books but offer no work?Can we do this if their contract is zero hours? Do we need to give a reason if work is available but given to other zero hour staff? Is there a risk here?Can division of hours for zero hour staff be at management discretion or do we need to provide reasons for why some staff are given hours and others not.Sorry for the lengthy questionThanks

Hi there

If someone is on zero hours contract then you have no obligation to give them work. You can simply give the work to others on zero hours contracts and there is no reason why you cannot do so and you do not have to justify your decision. You obviously must ensure that there is no discrimination at play, such as preferential r detrimental treatment because of age, gender, race, religion, etc.

The whole point of a zero hours contract is that there is absolutely no guarantee of work so at no point will you be obliged to give them any hours and there is also no requirement on you to justify why you have not given them any hours or why you have decided to give the hours to others instead.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi sorry I know I ask the same question twice but just to double check even if someone has been working for 10 years on a zero hour contract and someone else 1 month we can give the work to who we like without explanation?Thanks

Technically yes you can. The only potential issue is if someone has worked the same hours consistently for years then they may try and argue that these have become implied contractual hours, so something they are contractually entitled to.

Case law has suggested that the following are important factors when considering whether a term has become implied in a contract:

· On how many occasions, and over how long a period, the terms in question have been applied - the more times they have been applied and the longer the period over which this has occurred, the stronger the argument they had become implied into the contract

· Whether the terms are always the same - large differences will make the argument they had become implied weaker

· The extent to which the terms are publicised generally - there must be widespread knowledge and understanding amongst the workforce that such terms were being applied

If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you

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