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UK Zero Hours Contract - Question regarding disciplinary for refusing a shift

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  • UK Zero Hours Contract - Question regarding disciplinary for refusing a shift


    Never being in a situation like I am now, I don't know what to do or even if there is an issue but it does seem like it to me.

    I'm on a zero hrs contract and have been for some time. The agency recently sent an email and it explains changes that they are making to the shift planning.
    Currently, we don't know until the day whether or not we have a shift. We either accept or decline.
    The change will mean that we will receive the upcoming week shifts at the end of the preceding week. It says: "It will be mandatory for you to confirm or decline your shifts by the end of shift Friday"

    - Can these things just be made mandatory? - I have questioned it and wait back to find out what will happen if I refuse.

    The message goes on to say "All confirmed shift's you will be expected to attend and failure to do this by declining shift on the day or not notifying us could trigger the start of the disciplinary process"
    - How can there be a disciplinary process for declining a shift on a zero hours contract?

    Maybe I'm overreacting but it feels like an infringement on my rights

    Any advice?
    Tags: None

  • #2

    Definitely a 'infringement' on the 'flexibility' element of a 'Zero Hours Contract'. Clearly more advantageous for the business i.e. planning ahead etc.

    Here's some information - https://www.acas.org.uk/flexible-working



    • #3
      Hi, the point of a zero hours contract is that the company does not have to offer you work and when it does you are not obliged to accept that offer of work.

      What is seems the company is looking to do is put an element of planning into when shifts will be be availalbe to staff on zero hours contracts and who will accept to be available to work those shifts, that is fine. The fact that you are being asked to accept or decline upcoming shifts in a given timescale is acceptable for the company to do and when the shifts are issued you still have the same right to and say yes or no to working those shifts. This therefore doe not undermine the principles I have set out in the first part of my post as to a zero hours contract.

      What they are saying is that possible disciplinary action will be taken if you at the last minute or without notice decline or do not turn up for a shift you have accepted to work.

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