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To not work notice on zero hours contract?

(58 Posts)
SugarMouse1 Sun 20-Apr-14 21:29:35

I currently work for minimum wage on a zero hours contract for about 35 hours per week.
However, times such as Easter when students are back from uni, my hours get reduced to only 20, and after travel costs I'm better off on the dole!
I've been offered a six month contract on much better money/conditions elsewhere.
However, I have to start this week, and my current job requires 1 month notice.
I'd like to stay on good terms because I want to keep free gym membership and be able to d occasional work.

Help, what should I do?

MisForMumNotMaid Sun 20-Apr-14 21:31:46

Could you go cap in hand and be honest to your employers - asking to be released from the contract?

Trooperslane Sun 20-Apr-14 21:38:07

Ywnbu. Good luck. smile

LIG1979 Sun 20-Apr-14 21:38:24

Surely the students who are takin your hours would appreciate the extra work? Can you not give your hours to them? Or to someone else who has had their hours cut down due to the holidays? Then everyone is happy and you can leave on good terms and come back if needed.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 20-Apr-14 21:44:45

Leave. Better job conditions is more important than gym membership. I'd be amazed if they persue you for breaking your contract though I accept that may not be the most responsible advice ever.

But if your contract is 0 hours can't you just say you're working 0 hours for the next 4 weeks? Surely a 0 hour contract has to work both ways? You can't insist on hours but neither can they be enforced.

Homebird8 Sun 20-Apr-14 21:45:53

Seems unlikely that they would do anything about it if you just resigned with immediate effect regardless of the notice period. It would cost them a lot to take it further and they could not be seriously inconvenienced by you going early if they have others who are flexible enough to take on the additional hours.

whatever5 Sun 20-Apr-14 21:46:07

How does a zero hours contract work? I thought that while the employer is under no obligation to offer you work, you are also under no obligation to accept work. Therefore, whether or not you have to give a months notice, you can refuse any work they offer you during the next month.

usualsuspectt Sun 20-Apr-14 21:50:26

I'd just leave.

They can get rid of you any time they like.

FesterAddams Sun 20-Apr-14 21:50:26

Take the six month contract!

The only downsides are:
- you won't be able to get a good reference from your current employer if you need it in the future.
- you probably won't be able to do occasional work for them in the future.
- forget the gym membership.

They won't sue - it won't be worth their while, even if they have a case.

Ubik1 Sun 20-Apr-14 21:51:07

Just give notice and then refuse work. It's zero hours.

BackforGood Sun 20-Apr-14 21:55:29

I was going to say the same - the advantage of it being a zero hours contract is surely that you are not contracted to do any hours work, so your notice period is pointless.
I'd take the new job, tbh, but perhaps should state I'm not an employment lawyer grin

MisForMumNotMaid Sun 20-Apr-14 21:57:53

Could you take the job, give notice on your current one and only be available to work outside the hours of your new job?

BarbarianMum Sun 20-Apr-14 22:00:17

Agree. Give notice then refuse work. Almost everything about zero hours contracts benefits the employer, this is one circumstance in which you get the benefit.

Ifpigscouldfly Sun 20-Apr-14 22:02:55

Zero hours ? Just leave. Works both ways.

fidelineish Sun 20-Apr-14 22:05:07


x2boys Sun 20-Apr-14 22:10:06

I was going to say much the same how can you've expected to give four four weeks notice if the zero hour contract quite possibly won't give you four weeks work look at your contract but I would say they would be very unreasonable to expect you to give four weeks notice if there is not four weeks work available.

SugarMouse1 Sun 20-Apr-14 22:11:35

LIG - they have to go back to uni before one month is up.

MisFor- they require one months notice, yet new job wants me to start tuesday.

Whatever- they don't seem to see it like that, unfortunately

TheAwfulDaughter Sun 20-Apr-14 22:13:34

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Kafri Sun 20-Apr-14 22:30:01

Read ACAS's guidelines on 0 hour contracts. You are not obliged to do any hours for them in the same way that you can't complain should they not offer any.

Accept the new contract and either decline hours offered or work some around the new job if you wish.

Good luck

missymarmite Sun 20-Apr-14 22:34:18

If they offer only zero hour contracts they have no reason to complain if you work zero hours for the months notice, surely?

x2boys Sun 20-Apr-14 22:43:13

I have just googled zero hour contracts they are not obliged to offer you any hours and you are not obliged to accept any hours apparently I am a nurse in the NHS we have what is known as bank staff they are basically relief staff in case wards are short for any reason in the NHS it usually works in the bank staff as there are usually loads of shifts and bank staff can pick and choose the hours to suit them and can usually work as many our as little as they choose if they were to find another job there is no obligation to giep notice in fact a lot of people do bank hours alongside regular jobs.

whatever5 Sun 20-Apr-14 23:21:48

Whatever- they don't seem to see it like that, unfortunately

I'm sure they know what the rules are regarding zero hours contracts. If they want to use zero hour contracts so that they can reduce employees hours whenever they feel like it, they can't complain if their employees do the same thing. It works both ways and if they try to tell you otherwise it is not worth staying on the good side of them as they are obviously trying to abuse the system.

RedSoloCup Sun 20-Apr-14 23:24:04

Not unreasonable at all, these zero hours contracts protect the employer as they have to give you no notice and no holiday pay!! Works both ways....

wobblyweebles Mon 21-Apr-14 00:07:24

I thought zero hours contracts usually forbid you from working for anyone else?

PhallicGiraffe Mon 21-Apr-14 00:10:26

I always thought about accepting a zero hours contract job, and then just not working any hours, to see how long I can keep it up for. I mean, what are they going to sack you for, if there is no contract to do any work?

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