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Zero-Hours Contracts

What are zero-hours contracts?

Our latest SRI Expert Briefing expands further  on a topic touched on in our 2017 Amity Insight: The Future of Work.  It outlines our thoughts on the use of zero-hours contracts, which have proved a contentious yet growing part of the so-called “gig economy.”

Zero-hours contracts are employment contracts which do not stipulate a minimum number of hours to be worked. Whilst the employee or worker has no obligation to accept any work offered, the employer is also not obliged to provide a minimum number of working hours. Their growing prevalence in the UK has sparked a highly charged debate about their supposed advantages and disadvantages.

What does the Briefing cover?

The Expert Briefing gives a comprehensive overview of zero hours contracts, starting with how zero hours contracts were first used  and who typically is affected by this type of contract. Furthermore, it delves into the advantages and drawbacks of such contracts. For example, zero hours contracts offer an attractive and flexible work option for certain demographics, such as students. However, they do not provide workers with statutory benefits such as sick pay that are included in fixed contracts.

The Expert Briefing then lays out EdenTree’s house view on the use of zero hours contracts and what we, as responsible and sustainable investors, are doing in relation to the zero hours contracts debate and how we engage with companies on the issue. To find out more, access the full Expert Briefing using the download button above. 

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