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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50204
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have worked on a 0 hour contract for over 7 years, getting

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I have worked on a 0 hour contract for over 7 years, getting work reliably from a leisure centre. A few months ago, the management of the location in question threatened to stop giving me hours, because there had been some tension over uncomfortable working conditions, and the steps I took to help remain focused whilst overseeing peoples safety. (Small things like untucking my polo shirt or standing near a door held ajar for a few minutes) "Improve or we stop giving you work", I was told.
So I did as they asked, kept my head down and did everything they wanted to keep things running as smoothly as possible. However, 3 weeks later when I tried to book shifts, I was turned away after being told, "We don't want you here."
This confused me. I did what they asked, why was I still being penalised? Then I recalled having mentioned that this is a job to me, not a career. A job I did well, even by the managements' admission. So I can only conclude that I've been forced out of my regular place of work based solely on my attitude towards the company. I can still get work at other centres, but because I'm unfamiliar with them, they have little work available as they have their own list of casual workers. This has essentially stopped my income. Please advise.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Are you still employed by them?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben.
Yes I am
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry i took so long to rrespond, my internet was off temporarily
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been employed by the company for 14-15 years, with a few large gaps due to travel.

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.

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

My full response should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question or whether you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? If your query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating, selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

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