Zero hours vs Temping – Truly Flexible Working
There’s been a lot of talk lately regarding zero hours contracts. Much of this coverage has been looking at it from a negative perspective. It’s true, it doesn’t help with household cash flow when you don’t know what hours you are going to be working that week/month and sometimes inconsistent income can be worse than a steady flow of low income. At least with that you can cut your cloth accordingly, to coin a phrase.
However, there is also mileage in the argument, that if it wasn’t for the recession, there wouldn’t be a need for zero hours contracts, plus it really does help employers to have that flexibility, especially in cyclical industries, such as hospitality and manufacturing.
Zero hour contracts are by no means a new thing, but they are on the increase. They also help to keep unemployment figures low, as although you may not get work week in week out – you aren’t on the benefit system either. So, it would seem as with most things, it works for some and not for others.
Our main concern over this type of contract is the amount of people who agreed or signed up to them, without actually understanding what it means. Is this a by-product of internet terms and conditions? We all know that if we download the latest app we can’t use it without ticking the little T&Cs box – but how many of us take time to read those Terms & Conditions? Are we becoming so blasé about accepting terms that we sign employment contracts without reading them?
This is SO important. It’s how we earn a living; it’s how we feed our children; how we keep a roof over our heads. It must be read AND understood.
Zero hour contracts have also had an effect on employers using temping agencies, there’s no denying it. It means they can have their own pool of staff, on call, 24/7 without some of the charges.
However, temping benefits the worker so much more. If you are temping for one client and they have no work that week, you are perfectly within your rights to work for another employer, or even another agency, providing you comply with working time regulations etc.. You are not obliged to accept the work that week if you have other commitments – you have true flexibility.
What’s in it for the employer? The temps are managed by the agency, vetted, paid, engaged, disengaged. If one can’t work, we have a pool of people who can. In days gone by, temporary workers were paid a premium for their flexibility; the fact that they didn’t have a permanent contract often meant that they were paid more. This is rarely the case now, unless in the professional or specialist industries. Temps are often thought of as some sort of sub class, people who can’t hold down a job, people who don’t know what they want to do.
Well, we refute that. Temps are worth their weight in gold!
It takes a certain confidence to walk into a company, pick up a job, do it to the best of your ability and move on when the task is done. Look at locum doctors, pharmacists, supply teachers – they’re all temps.
So, let’s stop chuntering about zero hours and start celebrating the fact that the UK, still has a vibrant flexible working economy. Let’s praise our temps and thank them for the scrapes they get us out of, the sick and holiday cover they provide, the busy times they get us through and the low times, when we can take people on permanently.
Long live our temps! Because, they’re the people keeping those jobs open.1
As Enterprise Coordinator at Enterprise M3 LEP, Shirley Ducker helps schools and colleges improve their careers and enterprise activities to engage with the world of employment. But it’s through her own personal journey that she’s learned the most about the power of networking. Shirley’s here as a guest blogger to share her experience with you…[…..]
As we’re all living – and working – for longer, the age range in most workplaces is becoming broader. In some cases, there can be an age gap of 50 years or more between staff. All diversity enriches the work culture, but it can require some education to manage it effectively. ACAS recently published a[…..]
There are countless reasons why recruiting a person under the age of 25 could be beneficial to the success and growth of your business. As a job agency in Basingstoke, we’ve recently been reminded of the benefits of this yet again. Spring is a time for new beginnings and you’ll not only be opening a[…..]
As a recruitment agency that’s also heavily involved in the community, we can’t stop talking about the many benefits of apprenticeships. These positions give young people and career-changers the opportunity to study for a work-based qualification that is often the first stepping stone in a bright career. Our apprentice, Kyra Wallace, recently completed her time[…..]
In recruitment, as in life, things rarely work out as expected. The news reminds us daily that it’s actually wise to expect the unexpected. For example, you’ve got to wonder if there’s a teeny weeny bit of Theresa May’s brain that wishes she had pre-prepared a plan B for how Brexit is unfolding… We[…..]