The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has published a report taking stock of the current state of zero hours contracts.

The report made a number of findings:

• 77% of employers surveyed do not use zero-hours contracts.

• 64% of employers reported using them to manage fluctuations in demand.

• Zero-hours contracts are most common in the hospitality and entertainment industries.

• 70% of zero-hours contract employees worked part time hours.

• The adult population supports a ban on zero hours contracts.

• Support is weakest among 18 to 24 year olds.

• 48% of organisations do not compensate employees if they cancel a shift at short notice.

The report's recommendations

The report found that zero-hours contract workers are overall less likely to be satisfied with their contractual arrangement than other workers.

The CIPD recommends:

• the right for variable hours workers to request a more stable contract after they have been in employment for six months

• the introductions of a statutory code of practice for management of zero-hours workers, including the requirement to compensate employees for the full value of any shift cancelled with less than 24 hours' notice

• improving the labour market enforcement system by the creation of a Single Enforcement Body

• the abolition of worker status

Implications for Watford employers

These recommendations are not binding. You should consider how you use zero-hours contracts in general but also in light of the recent decision in the Brazel case - which affects the calculation of holiday pay for part-year and irregular hours workers.

You may also wish to consider whether there are better ways of managing your workforce. This will be different for each organisation and specific legal advice may be required.

  • Michael Delaney is a partner at VWV, a national law firm with local offices in Clarendon Road, Watford. Get in touch on 01923 919300 or at