Ministerial review of the impact of zero hours and non-guaranteed hours

A minister has written to low pay experts to formally seek their views on the impact of higher minimum wage rates for those on zero-hours contracts and non-guaranteed hours.

In February, the government’s ‘Good Work’ plan responded to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices with a series of further consultations on a number of the report’s proposals. One was the introduction a higher minimum wage rate for workers on zero or non-guaranteed hours. Business minister Andrew Griffiths, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) parliamentary under-secretary of state has written to the Low Pay Commission’s (LPC) to ask it to consider the impact of introducing a higher minimum wage rate for hours worked but not guaranteed in a contract. He asked it to assess the nature and extent of the issue identified in the review and the impact of the proposal.

Ultimately, the Government aims to ensure the ability to offer zero or short-hours contracts, or to request that an individual works longer hours than those guaranteed in their contract, but aims to compensate the most vulnerable workers for the additional flexibility demanded of them.

The LPC, currently consulting on the minimum wage, will publish its findings with its annual wage report, but this will be enlarged to take into account the impact of the broader topic of the wage proposal for zero-hours contractors. It will consider practices in Australia and the Netherlands, where zero-hours contracts are banned and revert to the Minister with recommendations.

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