Matthew, Owner of Consensus HR comments: “Initially, I was not a fan of zero-hour Contracts when they were introduced but they have shown if managed fairly and reasonably that they do suit some businesses and especially where students are involved. However, in this news report shown below in The Guardian it shows from statistics that they are being used extensively for the over 50’s. At Consensus HR and as per the Equality Act 2010, (EQA) age should not be a factor when employing somebody and hence why the past process of some people adding their Date of Birth to their CV is now none existent and if anybody is still doing this, they should be told at interview by the employer that this is not best practice and we as HR professionals advise against it.
If your business wishes to use Zero-hour Contracts, then make sure it is for the right reasons for the worker such as flexibility, Opportunities and Extra Income and not to take advantage of a protected characteristic under the EQA which as previously stated in our blogs, is protected from day one of employment and could result in an unlimited penalty to the business.”
NEWS ARTICLE – Zero-hours contracts among over-50s hit record high.
Analysis of Office of National Statistics data shows that zero-hours contracts among the over-50s have reached their highest level since records began. There are nearly 300,000 people aged 50 and older with zero-hours contracts, the highest number for this age group since records began in 2013. The total has increased from 149,000 between October and December 2013 to 296,000 in July to September 2022. More than a quarter of the total number of zero-hours contracts are held by workers over 50. Stuart Lewis, chief executive of Rest Less, said: “The large rise in the number of people aged 50+ working under zero-hours contracts is worrying.” He added that while many have turned to zero-hours contracts because they were unable to find a more permanent or structured type of work “thanks to age discrimination or a lack of workplace flexibility . . . Others are juggling zero-hours contracts alongside other part-time roles to top up working hours to make ends meet amidst double-digit inflation.” Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said that zero-hour contracts are on the rise among older people because, “sadly, it’s often very hard to find a new job in your 50s and beyond, because ageism is rife in the labour market.” Dr Emily Andrews, deputy director for work at the Centre for Ageing Better, said that while zero-hours contracts support many older workers to remain active in the labour market as their circumstances change, “all too often, these contracts mean one-sided flexibility in favour of the employer