Thread Rating:
  • 1 Vote(s) - 4 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Zero Hour Contracts and more
And I have agreed that a zhc can be useful -- however, should it be used to keep people in employment for 6 months? on non project specific contracts. ?

I would get people in when I need them, leaving them free to work anywhere else. I would not bind them to me whether I have work or not.
All very well there (arguably) being benefits to both sides with ZHCs in some cases, but I would be very uneasy about them becoming widespread, or even the norm. This is going back to 19th century practices in the mines, docks and so on where everyone troops up to the workplace in the morning hoping to get picked for a day or two's work..... At best it is virtually amateurising archaeology again!

This is no way forward for an industry already beset by problems, and desperately trying to convince everyone else that it is a profession.
I completely agree with the previous post. I am aware that this type of contract is often used by small units who don't usually require a larger team, and in this instance their use is understandable and acceptable as long as the staff are aware of their terms and conditions. However, larger companies now seem to be relying on zero hour and other short term contracts as standard practice, keeping large numbers of staff on such contracts for long periods of time just so they can dispose of them during a brief lapse in the workload.
This is a backward step for the profession. People will accept these contracts because they need to work but we as an industry need to do what we can to prevent this from becoming the norm. The circuit does not and cannot exist the way it has done in the past unless you have copious amounts of tolerant friends willing to let you sofa surf for extended periods. the cost of living is too high and it is becoming increasingly difficult to rent accomodation for short term contracts.

It has also become noticable that in the current climate budgets and timescales have become increasingly tighter. Companies need to invest in their staff if they want to be able to complete projects efficiently, otherwise they are at risk of not having the available staff and having to scrape the barrel in terms of standards.
It has come to my attention that these sorts of contracts are currently being used in commercial archaeology in the Netherlands, with exclusivity clauses that bind the employee to one employer (an extremely unethical practice in my opinion).

I've noticed that zero-hour contracts have continued to be a subject of controversy in the news in the UK over the last year, and that there is a proposed bill sponsored by Labour due for its second reading in the House of Commons in November this year. I've emailed the MP Ian Mearns about it today to try to find out more about the intended legislation.

There is some useful bibliography on the wikipedia page for zero-hour contracts, especially the link to the PDF on the House of Common library website by Douglas Pyper; Daniel Harari (5 August 2013)

Ed Miliband apparently said in December last year:

"We’ll ban zero hours contracts which require workers to work exclusively for one business. We’ll stop zero hours contracts which require workers to be on call all day
without any guarantee of work. And we’ll end zero hours contracts where workers are working regular hours but are denied a regular contract."

I would be very interested to know how the situation has developed in the UK since the last posts were made. Are these sorts of contracts more common now, and do they keep people hanging on in one place with no work? Does circuit digging still exist in the UK in the same manner that it did before the credit crunch?

The way to stop zero-hour contracts is to refuse them at all cost!

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Pro rata holiday entitlement for short term contracts. Crocodile 5 5,274 25th March 2016, 05:04 PM
Last Post: Crocodile
  Archaeologists Permanent Contracts BAJR 1 1,496 26th January 2011, 11:31 AM
Last Post: BAJR
  Contracts Manager and Regional Project Manager BAJR 1 1,558 17th June 2010, 04:41 PM
Last Post: BAJR
  Permanent Contracts - Various BAJR 1 1,397 26th April 2010, 10:50 AM
Last Post: BAJR
  Permanent Contracts - Various BAJR 1 1,351 22nd April 2010, 03:50 PM
Last Post: BAJR
  Contracts Manager BAJR 1 1,380 1st February 2010, 05:50 PM
Last Post: BAJR
  Experienced Archaeologists and Project Supervisors PERMANENT CONTRACTS BAJR 1 1,373 23rd December 2009, 04:59 PM
Last Post: BAJR
  Employment Contracts / Intellectual Property / Tendered Gag Orders / Personal Development Plans YellowPete 6 3,226 4th November 2009, 12:27 AM
Last Post: YellowPete
  Contracts or no contracts? trowelfodder 11 8,932 18th May 2008, 12:58 PM
Last Post: Dirty Dave Lincoln
  Short Contracts Bier Keller 7 5,204 27th October 2006, 02:06 PM
Last Post: Sparky

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)