What is a 0 Hours Contract of Employment?

A 0 hours contract of employment is a type of work agreement that offers flexible working hours without any guaranteed minimum hours of work. It allows employers to have a pool of employees who can come to work when needed or when there is work to do. This type of contract is often used by employers who experience fluctuating work demand or that operate in industries where the work is seasonal.

Although 0 hours contract of employment might appeal to those seeking flexible work, it also creates uncertainty in terms of job security and income. Employees may find themselves in a situation where they are not given any work for an extended period, leading to financial instability.

Despite this, 0 hours contract of employment is common in the UK, with almost 1.4 million people on such contracts. Typically, people on 0 hours contract of employment are employed in retail, hospitality, and the care sectors. It is often used for part-time workers, students, and those who are self-employed but want to earn additional income.

Are there any benefits to 0 hours contract of employment?

One of the benefits of 0 hours contract of employment is that employees have the flexibility to work around their schedule. They can take on work when they are available, and if they have other commitments, they can decline work. Similarly, employers also benefit from a flexible workforce that they can call upon when needed.

Another advantage of 0 hours contract of employment is that it can offer individuals the opportunity to gain experience in different sectors. Temporary work opportunities can help them develop new skills, make contacts, and gain industry-specific knowledge, making it easier to find more permanent work opportunities in the future.

However, one disadvantage of 0 hours contract of employment is that it can create insecurity in terms of earnings and employment. Employees may miss out on essential benefits such as sick pay and annual leave entitlements. In addition, it can also lead to job insecurity as there may be no guarantee of continued employment.


In conclusion, a 0 hours contract of employment can provide a flexible working arrangement for both employers and employees. However, employees should be aware of the lack of job security and income uncertainty that can come with this type of contract. Employers should also be mindful of their responsibilities to offer benefits such as sick pay and annual leave entitlements to their employees.