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Written Statement - Publication of Research on the Use of Zero Hours Contracts in Devolved Public Services

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Zero hours contracts have been the subject of much debate in recent times.
Leighton Andrews, Minister for Public Services

On 10 December I issued a Written Statement announcing research into the use of zero hours contracts in public services in light of concerns around their use and the impact on workers.

The completed research has been published today and is available on the Welsh Government website.

The research shows the varied circumstances in which zero hours contracts are used across public services and highlights issues associated with their use which warrant further consideration and action.

Issues include the impact of uncertain earnings on workers, suitable advance notice of work, sufficient notice and compensation for cancelling work, fair distribution of work, and access to employment rights such as annual leave, sick pay and redundancy pay.

The research also highlights specific concerns around the use of zero hours contracts in contracted out public services, in particular in relation to domiciliary care services which are already being considered by the Minister for Health and Social Services.

I therefore intend to ask the Public Services Staff Commission, when established this autumn, to develop guidance to address concerns identified on zero hours contracts. This will set clear expectations on practices we should expect of all public sector employers to ensure that zero hours contracts are not used inappropriately. Alongside this, it is also intended to issue a Procurement Advice Notice to set similar expectations for public service contractors. This action reflects our commitment to the public service workforce and will support the delivery of public services to people across Wales.