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Recent research conducted by Acas shows that people employed under zero hours contracts feel excluded from the sense of security, fairness and trust that's associated with permanent contracts of employment.
The discussion paper Give and take? Unravelling the true nature of zero-hours contracts (pdf) finds that although the flexibility of zero-hours contracts can benefit employers and workers, they can also cause issues relating to employment status, job security, the reliability of income and the balance of power between employers and employees.
Acas Chair, Sir Brendan Barber, said:
"Our analysis reveals that many workers on zero hours contracts experience a deep sense of unfairness and mistrust that go beyond the use of exclusivity clauses.
"A lot of workers on zero hours contracts are afraid of looking for work elsewhere, turning down hours, or questioning their employment rights in case their work is withdrawn or reduced. This deep rooted 'effective exclusivity' can be very damaging to trust and to the employment relationship.
"There also appeared to be a lack of transparency on the terms of their contractual arrangements. Many people did not seem to even know that they were on a zero hours contracts and some believed they were on a permanent contract due to the length of their service."
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