Advanced search

mumsnet work

Find the perfect family friendly job

zero hour contract

(19 Posts)
appleblossoms Mon 22-Apr-13 12:16:51

I've just put in for a reduction in hours at work, from 24 to 16. My boss is happy to accommodate this except I will need to switch to a zero-hour contract. I understand that there is no obligation for him to offer me work on this contract, or for me to accept, but we have discussed it and we both know the work is there and he knows that if my hours drop regularly I will need to reconsider the arrangement (i'm not adverse to quitting completely at some point - but he doesn't know that!)

My main question is about holidays...he said I won't be entitled to anything. I've been searching and searching and can't find anything definitive, but most places seem to imply you still accrue holiday for the hours you work. Does anyone know anything about this? Or know a good place to find out? Thanks.

LazyMonkeyButler Mon 22-Apr-13 12:21:35

I don't know the legal position on this BUT I am also on a zero hour contract and get 28 days paid holiday a year, just like everyone else.

The company I work for is well known for only allowing the bare minimum of "perks" so I doubt they would offer paid holiday if they didn't need to.

LazyMonkeyButler Mon 22-Apr-13 12:22:36

Also, have you tried Google-ing it? You may well find the answer there.

Madlizzy Mon 22-Apr-13 12:24:06

You get holidays for the hours on your contract. It's shit. I'm on a 10 hour contract, normally do up to 30 hours, but still only get holidays based on the 10 hour.

LazyMonkeyButler Mon 22-Apr-13 12:28:21

A quick Google has just shown me that you are actually entitled to holiday pay based on the hours you normally work not the hours on your contract.

Therefore, if you work 16 hours a week every week your holiday entitlement/pay should be worked out based on that.

flowery Mon 22-Apr-13 12:28:39

If you are on a zero hours contract your holiday will be calculated based on the hours you actually work. Often it's done by looking back at the previous month, or three months or whatever, then calculating how much you've accrued during that period.

If you are contracted to x hours but do overtime, you often don't get holiday for anything over and above contracted hours, but zero hours doesn't mean no holiday.

appleblossoms Mon 22-Apr-13 12:30:34

My contract will be for zero hours, so does that means I get holidays based on the zero hours, therefore nothing? Even though I will actually be working 16 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. yuck!!

I have tried googling LMB but it just seems so vague!! I had to challenge my boss on bank holidays for part-time workers last year, I don't really fancy challenging him again without knowing for sure I'm right.

appleblossoms Mon 22-Apr-13 12:32:19

x-posts. Thanks flowery, do you have a "proper" source for that? Something I can show my boss to show him he's got it wrong? He's really lovely, he would hate to take advantage of an employee, but I work for a charity so money is tight and he's very very careful about what gets spent.

jamtoast12 Mon 22-Apr-13 12:33:52

Could It be somehow incorporated into your pay? Eg. In teaching if you a paid hourly pay for 3 days a week (as a tutor in higher ed) you don't get any holiday pay etc. officially they say its in with the pay so they can have time off but its unpaid? lots of our staff are employed like this. It's basically classed as an hourly pay contract.

appleblossoms Mon 22-Apr-13 12:39:07

No, I asked if he'd pay me more per hour to take it into account, and he said no. pay would be the same.

I can't decide if it's worth fighting, or whether just to accept it, and enjoy the freedom the contract give me. Thanks for all your response. This is a new area of MN for me! smile

LulaPalooza Mon 22-Apr-13 12:55:28

apple have a look at the ACAS guide to holidays and holiday pay as a starter.

Workers on a zero hours contract cannot be treated less favourably than full time workers. This is prescribed in the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000.

All workers are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks (or 28 days) statutory annual leave. You may be entitled to more, contractually.

DH used to work on a zero hours contract and many of the employees at his company still do. They are all entitled to paid annual leave.

It is calculated ats 12.07% of actual hours worked in each quarter.

There's a useful note on how you get to 12.07% and how you calculate entitlement here

LulaPalooza Mon 22-Apr-13 12:56:22

Many employment agencies operate in the way jamtoast describes.

MirandaWest Mon 22-Apr-13 12:58:47

I do freelance type work (exam invigilating) which is on a zero hours contract I suppose as it is based on availability both of the work and my availability. I get holiday pay based on 1 hours pay for a certain amount of hours worked (forget exactly what it is but I get holiday pay).

jamtoast12 Mon 22-Apr-13 13:03:28

You are entitled to leave but not sure if it has to be paid? I knw lots of people on hourly pay who not get paid leave - it must be legal as unions and hr have been involved in all our contracts

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 22-Apr-13 13:03:38

Flowery is correct. You are absolutely entitled to holiday based on the number of hours you work.

I used to employ a student in a casual basis (usually between 8-10 hours per week) term time only and she got paid a higher rate to reflect no holiday pay.

I was then informed that this was no longer legal and this was confirmed on the directgov website so I had to renegotiate her rate and start paying holiday pay. Every month I go onto the website and there is. Holiday calculator. I input the hours she worked and it tells me how much holiday she is entitled to.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 22-Apr-13 13:06:02

She earns below the NI and tax rate so I don't even operate payroll for her but she is still entitled to holiday.

flowery Mon 22-Apr-13 14:11:01

The ACAS guide is good apple, and includes the workings out for staff without regular hours, which zero hours contracts would normally be.

I would disagree with your assessment that your boss, however "lovely" he might be, wouldn't want to take advantage of an employee. Even if he genuinely thinks for a technicality like calling it a zero hours contract you are entitled to no holiday (does this really sound correct to him?!), it is not the behaviour of a reasonable considerate employer to think it's fine for your staff to have no time off.

squawkparrot Wed 01-May-13 17:48:40

I am just writing a paper on both zero hour contracts and the type of contact that is also spoken about where you might work 30 hours each week but get your contracted hours each week which could be much less when you go on holiday. It gives possible legal arguments that you might use and such things as holiday pay. I only ask that if you used my ideas you acknowledge their source.

The answer Lulapalooza gives is the best above. If you want to read my paper then email me at

PrincessGwenny Mon 03-Feb-14 14:45:24

I know this is an old thread (and sorry to jump in) but I wanted to let you know that the government is currently consulting on the problems identified around zero hours contracts and really wants to hear from individuals about their experience.

I work for the government and am really passionate about getting people to share their views. If you have 5 minutes please complete the survey questions. The consultation closes on March 13th.


Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: