Asda Zero Hour Contracts: A Look at the Controversial Employment Practice

Zero hour contracts have become a hot topic in recent years, and Asda is one company that has been in the center of the controversy. Asda, one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK, has been criticized for its use of zero hour contracts, which allow employers to hire staff without any guarantee of work hours or pay.

What are Zero Hour Contracts?

Zero hour contracts are a type of employment contract that allows employers to hire staff without guaranteeing any specific number of work hours. Instead, the employees are only paid for the hours they work, and employers are not obligated to provide any minimum or maximum hours of work. This means that employees are typically not entitled to any benefits, such as sick leave, holiday pay, or pension contributions.

Why are Zero Hour Contracts Controversial?

Zero hours contracts have become increasingly controversial in the UK due to concerns over job insecurity and exploitation of workers. Critics argue that zero hour contracts offer little stability for workers and can lead to income insecurity and financial hardship. Additionally, zero hour contracts allow employers to avoid providing benefits and protections to workers, such as sick leave and holiday pay, which can hurt workers in the long run.

Asda and Zero Hour Contracts

Asda has been criticized for its use of zero hour contracts, which are widespread in the retail sector. In 2018, Asda was found to be the second-largest user of zero hour contracts in the UK, with around 55,000 employees on the contracts. Asda has defended its use of zero hour contracts, claiming that they offer flexibility and allow workers to balance work with other responsibilities.

However, Asda has faced backlash from workers and unions for its use of zero hour contracts. In 2017, Asda workers staged a protest against the company`s use of zero hour contracts, arguing that they lead to low pay, insecurity, and stress. The GMB union has also been critical of Asda`s use of zero hour contracts, calling for the company to provide guaranteed hours and better wages for workers.

The Future of Zero Hour Contracts

The use of zero hour contracts has come under increasing scrutiny in the UK, with many calling for greater protections for workers. In 2019, the UK government launched a review of zero hour contracts and recommended that workers be given the right to request fixed working hours after 26 weeks of employment. This recommendation has yet to be implemented, but it could have a significant impact on the use of zero hour contracts in the UK in the future.

In conclusion, while zero hour contracts offer flexibility for both employers and workers, they have come under fire for their potential to exploit workers and create insecurity and financial difficulties. Asda is one company that has been criticized for its use of zero hour contracts. It remains to be seen how the use of zero hour contracts will be regulated in the future.