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Zero Hours contracts top 3 FAQs: what you need to know

Published 24 February 2015

Let’s try to clarify some of the most popular questions asked regarding zero-hours contracts.

1) Am I entitled to holiday/annual leave?

As a zero-hours worker you are entitled to annual leave in the same way as regular employees. Anyone who has started working for a company will accrue annual leave from the day they start; this also includes anyone who has a zero-hours contract.

You can take your annual leave in the same way as anyone else by booking the time off, you must be employed continuously with the same employer, if you have a break in your employment then you should receive a payment for the accrued untaken annual leave.

2) Can I turn down work?

If you are given unsuitable hours, you are well within your rights to turn the work down. Just be careful, because if this happens on a regular basis your employer may decide not to give you any work or even worse they might decide to terminate your contract, so just think about what you are doing as you don’t want to upset the boss.

3) Should I be paid while traveling on the job?

You have a statutory right to be paid when travelling from one job to another, and for time waiting in between appointments.   There is a specific ruling concerning travel time and the national minimum wage, this generally means that a worker should be paid at least the national minimum wage - with the exception of a workers commute, which means you won’t get your bus fare paid for.

Let me give you an example of this, if you work as a carer and you have to travel between jobs and you are working for the same employer then you should be paid at least the national minimum wage. Equally, if you are on call and you remain at your employers premises then you are entitled to the national minimum wage for doing so.

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