What are zero hours contracts? 'Zero hours contracts' are a method for taking on workers on a casual basis -- there is no guarantee that you will ever have work!
Also you get fewer rights than a normal employment contract. The staff are 'workers' rather than 'employees'.
Zero hours contracts are popular with some large companies and have been criticised by politicians - see here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/b...
What are zero hours contracts? A casual worker on a zero hours contract can be asked to work as and when needed, often at short notice, and is often paid less than an employee on a normal contract.
Why would anyone agree to a zero hours contract?
Zero hours contracts suit some people (students and retirees) who want flexible 'take it or leave it' work to fit in with their lifestyle, and do not want to commit to a minimum amount of hours per week.
But, Zero hours contracts also suit some employers, such as wedding caterers who may need lots of staff for the big day, but minimal staff at other times.
They tend to be more common in certain industries that benefit from a flexible pool of employees, for example the leisure, education and healthcare industries.