Skip to main content skip to search skip to contact

In response to numerous requests from customers, we’ve developed a zero-hours worker agreement, which is available now on our free legal documentation website :

ARAG Legal Services Website

Zero-hours agreements: background

Sometimes employers have a fluctuating need for staff. Under a zero-hours contract an employer offers work as and when it is needed, while the worker can choose to accept the offer or turn it down. There is no guarantee that work will be offered. This helps employers to cut staffing costs.

Zero-hours agreements can be popular with employers for a variety of reasons – usually, where there are external factors that the employer can’t control. E.g. where business is quiet at certain times of the year but extremely busy during others; where experienced staff are needed at short notice to cover unexpected absences; where new businesses need flexibility until they can confidently predict demand. They are especially useful in the hospitality, leisure and catering industries.

Sometimes employers use them if their workforce is mostly made up of those who want a flexible way of working, such as students, the partially retired, or those with caring commitments.

Our zero-hours worker agreement

If staff can genuinely decide when they work and freely turn down work when it’s offered, then they are likely classed as ‘workers’ rather than ‘employees’. This means they have fewer employment rights and protections, such as the right to maternity/paternity leave and the right to receive statutory redundancy pay. We’ve drafted our agreement to try to ensure that it’s used to fulfil a genuine ‘zero-hours’ situation, rather than simply side-stepping the obligations that come with more permanent types of contract. This means staff employed using our agreement should be classed as workers, and we offer advice in the guidance notes to help employers ensure that this remains the case by using the agreement properly.

Our agreement also deals with the job description and other related matters such as working time, breaks, holiday entitlement, salary, sickness and confidentiality. There are further options to include grievance and/or disciplinary procedures. It’s suitable for use throughout the UK.

You may also be interested:

bbc employment

BBC row may have contributed to spike in equal pay claims at employment tribunal

The row at the BBC began last July when the Corporation published the salaries of its top earners, showing a significant disparity between the pay of men and women. The issue has since been the subject of a campaign featuring numerous high profile journalists and presenters which saw the BBC’s China Editor, Carrie Gracie, resign the post this weekend.

emloyment tribunal

Uphill journey resumes for employers

The spike in employment tribunal claims over the past three quarters looks set to mark the start of a permanent upward trend in the figures. With the ‘affordability barrier’ now gone, ACAS is receiving around 2,200 notifications every week and there has also been a matching rise in the number of disputes reaching tribunal.

employment tribunal

Employment case law update

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) recently considered this issue. A police officer had
applied to transfer to another role. She had a hearing impairment that did not affect daily activities.
The constabulary was worried that it might become worse and therefore rejected her application.