Zero hour contracts are still increasing in the UK.

They allow employers to hire, offering no guaranteed hours. Employees are paid an hourly rate, and only work during the hours they are needed.

They’re particularly prevalent in the hospitality and retail industry. Surprisingly, there’s also a strong trend in the education and health industries.

Back in April 2013, the Financial Times reported in April 2013 that there are almost 100,000 zero-hours contracts in use across NHS hospitals. This is a 24% increase on the previous two years.

The rise of zero hour contracts has raised a number of questions. Are people with these contracts entitled to ‘employee’ legal rights and benefits…or are they classed as ‘workers’, who are not afforded the same entitlements?

Such uncertainties highlight the importance that all terms are agreed upon and outlined in a contract of employment.

What is known is that you must still pay the national minimum wage to employees who are on-call.  It is illegal to ask employees to clock off, or remain on site without pay, during quiet periods.

Remember, while the flexibility of this working pattern suits many people, it isn’t appropriate for everyone.

By Tirebuck Recruitment, one of your local job agencies, Solihull based.