Labour & European Law Review
06 May 2015
Zero-hours contracts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to low-paid and insecure jobs, according to new analysis published last week by the TUC. The analysis shows that in addition to the 700,000 UK workers who report being on zero-hours contracts, there are another 820,000 employees who report being underemployed on contracts offering up to 19 hours a week.
Some contracts include the right for the employer to vary the contract unilaterally. In Hart v St Mary’s School (Colchester) Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that a variation clause in a teacher’s contract was not clear enough to allow the school to change the terms of her contract unilaterally.
Courts will only imply a contract on the ground of necessity in certain circumstances. In Smith v Carillion the Court of Appeal held that, even in the case of a blacklisted worker, the question for courts was whether it was necessary to imply a contract between the worker in question and the end user by looking at how the parties conducted themselves.