For some part-time workers zero-hour contracts can be useful. They don't have to do the work offered. I know a number of women with young children who work under such a scheme because it provides an opportunity to gain extra money over and above the budget. The employers need a large pool though as otherwise they cannot guarantee that enough workers will turn up eg the baggage handlers at Gatwick recently.
Where zero hours doesn't work well is for those who need the income and is their main source of employment and income.
Zero hour contracts are contracts ACAS and workers have the same employment rights as regular workers. The problem lies with these contracts being used instead of standard part-time or full-time contracts in situations where zero hours was never envisaged being used. I have said before there are some bad employers but that does not mean that all should be tarred with the same brush.
Not sure if you remember the YTS (Youth Training Scheme), when that was in existence. That was intended to get youth into employment, but in reality, in some cases it was abused by both the employer and the youth supposedly seeking employment.
Yet it all sounded very good on paper, because it appeared that the government of the day was doing something, including picking up the wages tab for most of the training that took place.
A relative of mine owned three hosiery factories, when this scheme was introduced, and took on quite a number of youths under the scheme. He had his successes as well as total failures, and to this day, he says in the long term he lost money in trying to help resolve some employment problems, using the YTS.
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