partner laid off from zero hours contract, any rights?

Hi All

I've been fortunate enough to stay away from the redundancy boards until now but my partner was laid off on Monday so looking for some advice on his rights...

He has been working for the same company for 5 years but on a zero hours contract that states the employer can terminate it at any time. Everyone else in his job was on the same contract and they were all tolda couple of days ago that they were no longer needed (been replaced by a combination of machine and unskilled labour). No notice, those that were scheduled to work that day were phoned at home an hour before the shift started and told not to come back.

I know the contract says that this is ok but I wondered if there was any kind of overarching employment law that would mean they wereentitled to some notice or something?

Even a 'happy Christmas' book token would have been nice!!

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
BS x
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Replies

  • HappyMJHappyMJ Forumite
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    The statutory notice period still applies to a zero hour contract.
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
  • SarElSarEl
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    No, sorry. People on zero hours contracts are not employees, they are workers. In law that means no notice, no redundancy pay, no lay off pay... nothing, I'm afraid.
  • SarElSarEl
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    HappyMJ wrote: »
    The statutory notice period still applies to a zero hour contract.

    No - it doesn't. See my answer below.
  • bigsmokebigsmoke Forumite
    281 Posts
    Ah, okay, thought we probably had no chance but worth an ask :(.

    Thanks very much for replying so quickly.

    Fingers crossed the job hunt might lead to something with sick pay, annual leave, maybe even above minimum wage this time!
  • HappyMJHappyMJ Forumite
    21.1K Posts
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    bigsmoke wrote: »
    Ah, okay, thought we probably had no chance but worth an ask :(.

    Thanks very much for replying so quickly.

    Fingers crossed the job hunt might lead to something with sick pay, annual leave, maybe even above minimum wage this time!
    Despite the answer above anyone employed on a zero hours contract will accrue holiday pay at the rate of 12.07% of hours worked. They will also earn a right to statutory sick pay if the average earnings over the last 8 weeks exceed the lower earnings limit of national insurance which is currently £107 per week.
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
  • bigsmokebigsmoke Forumite
    281 Posts
    Oh wow, really? They've always refused anything like that. Perhaps mention of 5 years unclaimed sick and holiday might persuade them to re-think their lack of goodwill Christmas goodbye gesture!

    At the very least it's very useful to know going into anything new, thanks again, really don't know much about this stuff at all.
  • SarElSarEl
    5.7K Posts
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    HappyMJ wrote: »
    Despite the answer above anyone employed on a zero hours contract will accrue holiday pay at the rate of 12.07% of hours worked. They will also earn a right to statutory sick pay if the average earnings over the last 8 weeks exceed the lower earnings limit of national insurance which is currently £107 per week.

    Holidays accrue to workers - not just employees. But the OP should check first that it wasn't rolled up in the rate of pay - this is permissible in the case of workers on zero hour contracts. SSP is also not an employment right - it is a benefit and does not accrue to people on zero hours contracts, at least not through the employer. In order to claim it you must have a set number of waiting days (days off sick but unpaid), and since you are not "in work" when you are not in work, you cannot claim through an employer. Whether it is possible to claim in your own right I do not know because I am not a benefits advisor, just a lawyer.
  • bigsmokebigsmoke Forumite
    281 Posts
    This is much more complicated than I thought - we'll take a look at the contract when we get home to see if holiday pay is mentioned.
    Thanks again
    BS x
  • SarElSarEl
    5.7K Posts
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    If holiday pay is "rolled up" then it should be shown as a seperate item on the payslips - that should give you a good clue! If you haven't been paid it you can claim back for this holiday year - I am afraid that previous years are lost.
  • Russe11Russe11 Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    SarEl wrote: »
    No - it doesn't. See my answer below.

    would section 89 of the ERA1996 not apply...

    89 Employments without normal working hours.(1)If an employee does not have normal working hours under the contract of employment in force in the period of notice, the employer is liable to pay the employee for each week of the period of notice a sum not less than a week’s pay.
    (2)The employer’s liability under this section is conditional on the employee being ready and willing to do work of a reasonable nature and amount to earn a week’s pay.
    (3)Subsection (2) does not apply—
    (a)in respect of any period during which the employee is incapable of work because of sickness or injury,
    (b)in respect of any period during which the employee is absent from work wholly or partly because of pregnancy or childbirth [F7or on [F8adoption leave, parental leave or [F9ordinary or additional paternity leave]]], or
    (c)in respect of any period during which the employee is absent from work in accordance with the terms of his employment relating to holidays.
    (4)Any payment made to an employee by his employer in respect of a period within subsection (3) (whether by way of sick pay, statutory sick pay, maternity pay, statutory maternity pay, [F10paternity pay, [F11ordinary statutory paternity pay, additional statutory paternity pay] , adoption pay, statutory adoption pay,] holiday pay or otherwise) shall be taken into account for the purposes of this section as if it were remuneration paid by the employer in respect of that period.
    (5)Where notice was given by the employee, the employer’s liability under this section does not arise unless and until the employee leaves the service of the employer in pursuance of the notice.

    Since a zero hours contract is employment without regular working hours?

    As much as holiday entitlement is calculated, by taking a "weeks pay" caluculation for a worker with no regular hours.

    Since it based upon the previous 12 weeks, the employee would have to not of worked for the previous 12 weeks to be due no notice pay?

    If this interpretation incorrect, then why is this incorrect?
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