A recent survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that nearly 700,000 employees were employed on zero-hours contracts in the UK between October and December in 2014.
This represented nearly 2.3% of the entire UK workforce in employment.
During the same period in 2013, 586,000 were employed on zero-hours contracts.
Conor D’Arcy, policy analyst at think tank the Resolution Foundation, believes the continued use of zero-hours contracts shows that it is “more than just a recession-related phenomenon” and could be here to stay as employers have become increasingly aware of the benefits that zero-hours contracts provide.
Flexibility for employers
Zero-hours contracts do not guarantee a minimum number of hours of employment to staff so provide employers, especially those in seasonal industries that experience peaks and troughs in demand, with greater flexibility to change the size of their workforce at short notice.
Equally, during quieter periods the workforce can be scaled down, resulting in cost savings for employers.
Training and recruitment costs are also significantly reduced as employers are able to create a large reserve pool of trained workers ready to report to work, rather than having to identify, recruit, and train new workers.
Greater administration of zero-hours
The growth of zero hours contracts means employers must monitor employee time and attendance to accurately determine the hours carried out, so staff can be paid accurately and managed fairly and consistently.
Modern systems, such as Vanquish, are highly customisable and scalable making it easy to add and remove employees on zero-hours contracts as their employment starts and ends.
Gaining visibility of a large temporary workforce employed on zero-hours contracts enables employers to gain full transparency of their labour costs, proactively measure staff performance and accurately schedule staff to meet forecasted demand.
Integration with key business functions enables employers to identify the precise moment they need to scale up or down their workforce so they can keep their recruitment spend to a minimum.
Fully audited attendance also enables employers to better estimate future labour costs based on historical data.