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zero hour contract hell

(36 Posts)
malificent7 Mon 30-Oct-17 10:00:13

So i am now working at a higher level ( lecturer) after being a TA for a few years. I want to retrain next September.
However I am on a zero hour contract through an agency. If i dont comr to work i dont get paid.
I have laryngitus and can hardly talk and a whole day of teaching ahead of me. I should stay at home and rest my voice but if i do i wont get paid and wont ve able to pay rent.

It is shite isnt it. I will be dpending tomorrow looking for better contracts and applying to retrain via ucas.plus i only have 9 hours of teaching and have to make up the hours with care work....again on zero hours.

Am i making excuses or are zero hours common now? Am i not working hard enough so that's why i cant progress?

malificent7 Mon 30-Oct-17 10:00:48

Typos aggggrrr! Sorry

KalaLaka Mon 30-Oct-17 10:03:36

It's awful. lots of universities hire academic staff as visiting tutors/lecturers, which is essentially zero hours. Not your fault! If you're up to it, go in, but do the bare minimum. Set group projects/group discussions: facilitate learning but don't talk too much! And try to sit down so you can rest.

malificent7 Mon 30-Oct-17 12:18:23

Any other people who can share/ advise? Ive come in but fgs....this zero hour nonsense has to stop!

GreenTulips Mon 30-Oct-17 12:21:55

I work one zero hour contract the rest of the time I'm paid -

I am pay example £10 per hour normal contract and £15 per hour zero hour contract

The zero hour contract is regular

Not sure if yours is the same

Lethaldrizzle Mon 30-Oct-17 12:22:12

I work in a job where I don't get paid if I am sick. I am very rarely sick so it's not really been a problem and I like the flexibility of being self employed. If I am sick I just dose up on medication

Foslady Mon 30-Oct-17 12:24:17

Another one who is contracted but with no sick pay.

I dread what will happen if I get ill

QuitMoaning Mon 30-Oct-17 12:25:37

Zero hours contracts can work for some people. I know someone who is on one and it works very well for her as she chooses when she works around her childcare but her boss is very good and works around her.

She has worked there for years and he values her so if both parties want it, it can work very well.

notsomanky Mon 30-Oct-17 12:31:07

No sick pay is not just down to zero hours contracts.

I am contracted to work 40 hours a week, permanent staff member and don't get paid for the first 5 days absence. SSP kicks in after that.

I can't afford to be ill.

In general though, I can see that zero hours might work for some people, but must be a nightmare to plan or budget for most.

AmIAWeed Mon 30-Oct-17 12:32:13

I'm self-employed so if I don't work I don't get paid. One company I work with everyone is subcontracted as work isn't always predictable and it gives us all the flexibility to turn work down if we don't like the look of it or just want some extra time with family etc. For me it works really well, I just need to make sure I put enough money aside for the quiet times.

If I'm honest I much prefer working this way to being in the office 9-5 even if there was no work, it was soul destroying for me. Whilst I appreciate being sick impacts your earnings, I see that as part of the deal. I cant pick and choose what I do and get paid if im not there.
By all means look for another job with fixed hours but it doesn't make zero hour contracts shite, just not right for you

Zaphodsotherhead Mon 30-Oct-17 12:44:44

I'm on a 16 hour contract - NMW. No sick pay for 4 days. I can't afford to be ill, and absolutely dread having an accident and breaking a leg or something. 16 hours doesn't even cover my rent, so I have to make sure to put in for ANY available hours just to be able to live. Dread Jan/Feb, when we go down to basic hours...

DJBaggySmalls Mon 30-Oct-17 12:45:52

Zero hour contracts should be an option, you should be able to opt into one if it suits you. That would stop employers abusing them.

grannytomine Mon 30-Oct-17 12:46:52

I think it varies, it really suits some people but obviously no good if you really want regular hours and guaranteed pay. Not everyone gets paid when they are sick even if they have guaranteed hours.

RaininSummer Mon 30-Oct-17 12:49:14

It is grim but there are also lots of people not on zero hours contracts who don't get sick pay. I know that doesn't help you at all and teaching is terrible when you are sick as you cant just hole up at your desk with a hot drink.

deepestdarkestperu Mon 30-Oct-17 12:53:18

Lots of people on permanent contracts don’t get sick pay - it’s not unique to zero hours. I don’t get paid the first three days and after that it’s SSP and only with a doctors note. You only get company sick pay if you’ve been there two years and even then it’s only for three weeks then back to SSP.

Unfortunately it’s pretty normal and why I’m currently in work with a cold and chest cough! I just can’t afford to be off unless I’m throwing up, pretty much.

Thegiantofillinois Mon 30-Oct-17 12:54:19

If you're only paid for the hours you're teaching, what happens to the marking/prep? I've spent 3 hours this morning making a ppt to teach from for one text for one class. I'm only half way through. How would that be accounted for?

SusannahL Mon 30-Oct-17 13:10:09

Zero hours contracts work fine for some people, but not everyone.

If they were outlawed then a lot of small businesses would go bust - it's as simple as that.

Before taking a job with a zero hours contract, surely it's sensible to ensure that you have enough savings to tide you over if you are too sick to work?

iJustReallyLikeIt Mon 30-Oct-17 13:52:03

TA to lecturer without training?

tabbymog Mon 30-Oct-17 14:23:32

Zero hours contracts are evil, immoral and bad business practice. They should be banned. Where did they spring from? It's eight years since I sold my sole practitioner business, and retired. I worked as a consultant for some clients, or on specific projects for others. I was paid for making my time available to clients, all of it, not paid less because the client didn't need to use all the time they'd contracted for. There was no such thing as zero hours contracts in anyone's minds, at least in my field, publishing and all things related to it, in 2009. What they were paying for was my availability, and this was exactly the same for every other consultant and independent professional known to me.
Every business manager on the planet knows what lost opportunity costs, or just opportunity costs, are, it's not a benefit, it's exactly what it sounds like: the cost of doing one thing and not another that might have been a better (more profitable) choice.
Every successful business factors lost opportunity costs into their pricing methodology. Why aren't ordinary workers well informed enough about business practices that affect them as employees, and are just as relevant and necessary for them to understand as for managers?
This brings back focus to the poor education we give our children in this country. Before all you teachers here scream, I'm not talking about poor teaching. I'm talking about the class-infested political football our education system is, that denies ordinary people so many opportunities and puts them on the scrapheap before they’re even out of their teens. Why do I know so many parents whose children don’t learn any foreign languages at school? No history, and even worse, no maths - the language of ideas - which is started too late and dropped too early.
Quantifying the lost opportunity costs of one vacancy over another, the purpose for doing this, and other basic business knowledge, is something everyone should learn about before they ever enter the work force. It’s just as valid for employees to apply it in their working lives as it is for the business manager. That LOCs are so easy to understand and accepted in business worldwide regardless of cultural or religious restrictions on financial/business behaviour, make it easy to demonstrate that zero hours contracts are morally and ethically indefensible because they deny the individual’s right to exploit the only resources they have: their time and labour. Zero hours contracts make people slaves. We, you and me, have to stand up and say so, loudly, over and over again. We should get up and demand that our representatives make them illegal, and shame every organisation that uses them. That last includes the Royal family, BTW. Shame on them.

jellyfrizz Mon 30-Oct-17 14:32:40

There was no such thing as zero hours contracts in anyone's minds, at least in my field, publishing and all things related to it, in 2009.

There was elsewhere, I was on a zero hours contract for BHS as a Saturday job back in 1991.

KalaLaka Mon 30-Oct-17 14:37:25

thegiant there's not usually any pay or hours accounted for prep. There's a stupid bit in the contract that somehow covers this.

ijustreally no training needed to be a casual/zero hours lecturer. Minimal 'training' for most lecturing jobs. You need the subject qualification,but no teaching certificates are necessary.

BritInUS1 Mon 30-Oct-17 14:38:11

Many full time contracts also don't offer sick pay, only the statutory minimum, which kicks in after 3 days

grannytomine Mon 30-Oct-17 14:40:12

Zero hours contracts are evil, immoral and bad business practice. I don't think that is true. I used to employ people and zero hours contracts were popular with students who didn't want to commit to set hours 52 weeks a year. I would have hours available, due to sickness or holidays or whatever, zero hours people would be contacted and offered the hours. One might say they were struggling to get an assignment finished, another might say they were going home as it was mum's birthday and the third might say great they could do with the money. We only had a limited number on zero hours contracts and if people wanted guaranteed hours they could have them but if they wanted to be flexible that was fine as well.

maxthemartian Mon 30-Oct-17 14:52:10

And this is why people badger their gp for antibiotics.
They can't afford to rest if they are ill.

malificent7 Mon 30-Oct-17 18:33:15

I have a pgce. I was a ta as i couldnt handle the workload in the comp.So im trained.

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