Zero hours or not? – “They are a really useful tool for businesses who want to genuinely use staff casually – as long as you don’t forget they are not obliged to accept any hours you offer them. It means you can turn the staff supply tap off and on to the needs of the business and can manage costs efficiently. The key test is – if you really need to rely on someone accepting the work and it’s a regular pattern – then avoid the zero hours and offer them a part time contract with flexible hours built in.

If you do go down the zero hours route – remember they must be on at least the minimum wage, they accrue holidays based on hours worked; and you should not put into any contract any clause saying they cannot work for any other business.

If you have people who have been on a zero hours contract for a long period of time, working regular hours and are obliged to accept the work (i.e. you need to rely on them) then it is likely they already have employment status and therefore I would formalise this by confirming a permanent contract. This often improves morale and increases security and confidence for the employee”.