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‘Zero Hours’ Contract Workers Do Have Employment Rights!

The idea that so-called ‘zero hours’ contract workers have no employment rights is a misconception, as is illustrated by a case in which a security officer who worked under such a regime was awarded arrears of holiday pay and compensation for her unfair dismissal.

The woman had not returned to work after lodging grievances against her employer and her contract was eventually brought to an end. An Employment Tribunal (ET) subsequently found that she had been made redundant, in that the employer had no work for her to do.

However, the ET went on to rule that her dismissal was procedurally unfair in that she had not been consulted or given relevant information. She was awarded £398 in compensation for unfair dismissal, £836 in respect of holiday pay arrears and £398 to reflect her employer’s failure to give written reasons for her dismissal.

In opening the way for the woman to seek further compensation, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) found that the ET had failed properly to consider her claim for an uplift in her award under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Her lawyers argued that such an uplift would be justified by the employer’s alleged breaches of the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. That issue was remitted to the ET for further consideration.