Council clarifies use of “zero hour” contracts

Liverpool City Council has clarified its use of “zero hour” contracts, following media coverage of the issue.

The Council does not use zero-hours contracts, but does use a small number of standardised hours contracts for certain jobs within the local authority.

Councillor Nick Small, Cabinet member for employment and skills, said: “The Council has used standardised hours contracts for many years in circumstances where it suits both the member of staff and the local authority.

“Working with the trade unions, we ensure they have the same terms, conditions, rights and protection as every other member of staff, including access to the pension scheme and redundancy entitlements.

“It could be that they are a sessional tutor in the adult learning service, a sports coach or working in the events team where the work is seasonal. This flexibility suits staff because they are not restricted from working elsewhere in periods where they are not needed by us.

“We would be rightly criticised if we were spending council tax payers money employing staff to sit around doing nothing.

“Some local authorities which claim they do not employ staff on zero hour contracts solely use agency staff, who are afforded none of the enhanced rights and protection that we in Liverpool offer by employing these staff directly.

“We want other companies to follow our lead in having good quality flexible employment contracts and are looking at setting up a charter which they can adhere to.”