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More firms adopting zero-hour contracts for staff

Filed under: Cyber Security — Jonathan on April 9, 2013

Close to a quarter of the UK’s major employers maintain contracts for workers that prevent them from working with the same conditions as regular employees.

Those seeking cyber security jobs, risk management vacancies and any other positions would be well advised to assess any employer they are looking at with regards to such an arrangement, and be sure the description suits their circumstances.

Government estimates say that 23 per cent of companies with over 100 employees have taken to zero-hour contract terms for a number of their staff, after a sudden increase in services in the public sector being contracted out.

The contracts have been compared to those seen in Victorian times by unions and Labour MPs, who claim that employers are using them to avoid regulations regarding agency workers. These regulations allow them, after 12 months, to be subjected to terms and conditions the same as those governing permanent staff.

Recently, security company G4S recruited for custody detention staff to work with police officers in Lincolnshire on a zero-hour contract, in a bid to assess people’s safety who were in custody and restrain them if necessary.

Police Federation spokesman Steve Evans said that it was a part of an agreement, signed just last year, to implement a business model that sees reserve staff employed on an ad-hoc basis.

He said that it can create certain dangers and that rapid changes can occur in a custody-based environment. An individual’s knowledge and experience as well as policies, equipment, training and legislation could expire quickly if they are not working in that environment on a regular basis, he pointed out.

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