Updated 05.06.2024

Zero hours contract 

Employment agreement without fixed hours of work, subject to occasional request from employer, remunerated at hourly rate.

Use this contract: 

  • To employ an employee of any kind, from trainee to senior manager, from manual worker to office staff.
  • If you want to employ an employee on a permanent or fixed-term basis, without set hours of work, at hourly rate.
  • Whether or not the employee should commit certain availability hours, and whether or not such availability hours are remunerated.
  • Whether or not you want to give the employee more benefits than are provided for by law.
  • Whether or not you wish to impose more restrictions and responsibilities than are provided for by law.



This agreement is governed by laws of England and Wales and complies with collective labour agreements (CLA)

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Protect yourself legally as an employer with the following options: 

  • Restrictions on non-disclosure, non-solicitation and non-competition, even after employment, with penalties. 
  • Extensive monitoring measures, obligation to record working hours and submit to regular checks. 
  • Clear definition of working hours and breaks, with a general obligation to work overtime, travel and take business trips. 
  • Possibility of payment in lieu of dismissal leave, suspension from work as a disciplinary measure, and immediate termination for cause. 
  • Duty of loyalty, diligence, and obligation to return equipment and tools in the same condition, with limits on coverage of expenses and use of equipment or vehicles. 

Offer the employee the following protection and benefits: 

  • Bonuses and benefits of all kinds, including training funding, sales commission, performance-based and non-performance-based bonuses. 
  • Longer holidays, extended redundancy leave, no trial period and seniority pay. 
  • Salary net of any tax or social security contributions, 13th salary, shorter payment periods and right to tips. 
  • Flexible working hours, paid lunch break and home office policy. 
  • Company car or card, parking space, equipment, tools, or other expenses covered, including lump-sum payments. 

Zero Hour Contract

A zero hours contract template allows you to draft a legal agreement to employ a worker with an undefined working schedule. By using the zero hours contract UK template you can hire staff for occasional services at an hourly salary, whether on-premises or remotely.

A company or business may use a zero hours contract form:

  • For part-time employment, occasional or seasonal tasks
  • For hiring a worker to perform services on call, when necessary
  • Without engaging to pay a fixed salary in the absence of work.

Key aspects of a zero hour contract

A zero hours contract lays out the scope of tasks that an employee may be summoned to do, without a specific schedule. The employee may be required to:

  • Make themselves available during the determined period
  • Respond to assignments within a certain notice period
  • Perform work on an hourly salary basis, depending on the scope of work done.

Eight tips on a zero hour contract

Our zero hour contract example protects the employer’s legal interests, for example:

  • Unambiguous limitations of available options within the strict statutory requirements
  • In-built clarifications on legal bounds and minimum requirements
  • Numerous restrictive covenants and defensive measures for the business
  • Notice and strengthening of employee’s lawful responsibilities, such as non-disclosure and duty of care.

With the 0 hour contract example you can offer incentives and opportunities to the workers, for example:

  • Specifying a termination notice even if one is not required by law
  • Allowing commission on sales as a variable salary
  • Promising potential full-time or part-time fixed employment based on performance
  • Allowing payment for availability hours even if no work is requested.

Create a zero hour contract with AdminTech

Using AdminTech online document builder and a zero hours contract template, the only required thing is to fill in the fields with the appropriate information, to create the document for the specific situation.

A professional 0 hour contract covers the following information:

  • Employee’s name and address
  • Job title and requirements associated with this position
  • Availability schedule and notice
  • Salary and payment terms
  • Probation period, duration, and termination notice.

FAQ on a zero hour contract

Is zero hours agreement legal in the UK?

Yes, United Kingdom legislation allows zero hour contracts. However, many ordinary employment rules still apply and must be observed.

With our zero hours employment contract template UK, employers can conclude valid agreements while respecting the applicable law.

What are the advantages of being on a zero hour contract?

For an employer, a zero hours contract form allows flexibility and less engagement or liability than a classical employment agreement, because:

  • There is no fixed salary
  • You are not obliged to provide the minimum amount of work
  • It is easier to dismiss the employee by simply not requesting any work.

Who needs a zero hour agreement?

Our zero hour contract example is beneficial for startups and small businesses:

  • Who are not ready to hire full-time or part-time staff
  • Who are not sure about the scope of work to be performed in upcoming months
  • Who may require employees to do certain tasks without a high level of responsibility or qualification
  • Whose schedule is mostly unpredictable and subject to rapid fluctuations.

Are employees on zero hour contracts entitled to sick pay?

In the case of zero hours contract template UK, employees may be entitled to statutory sick pay under the following conditions:

  • Earning at least £120 per week
  • Being ill, self-isolating, or “shielding” for at least 4 consecutive days.

However, if the employee fails to inform the employer upfront, generally before the availability notice starts, they lose their entitlement to sick pay.

Are employees on zero hour contract entitled to annual paid leave?

As an employee, zero hour staff is entitled to a minimum statutory holiday of 5,6 weeks (20 working days + 8 bank holidays). However, as you can choose in our zero hours contract template, the paid leave:

  • Is reduced proportionally to the effective time worked
  • May be compensated in cash.

Can you restrict zero hour employees from competing?

Although you can generally restrict zero hour employees from working for competitors where this is justified, which you can select in our zero hours contract UK template, you cannot prevent them from working for other employers altogether. This restrictive covenant is illegal in the United Kingdom.

What is the salary for a zero hours worker?

In the case of a 0 hour employment, there is no fixed salary. In our zero hour contract example you can opt for the following payment options:

  • Hourly salary for the work time done
  • Salary based on the performance of specific tasks (for example: parcels delivered)
  • Commission on sales or turnover generated by the employee.

Are zero hour employees entitled to a pension plan?

Just like any employee, pension plan entitlement may apply in the case of a 0 hour contract example, but this mainly depends on the salary earned over the year. The following conditions apply:

  • Be over the age of 22 but below state pension age
  • Work in the UK under their contract
  • Earn above the “qualified earnings” (£10,000 a year or the pro rata amount for your number of hours).

What is the termination notice for a zero hour employee?

Employees on zero hours contracts have no rights to notice periods. This means that both the employer and the employee may terminate the agreement at any time. However, such termination should not be abusive and unreasonable. Our zero hours contract template UK allows you to include a minimum termination notice if you would like one.

How can employers ensure a successful zero hours employment experience?

To ensure a successful 0 hour employment experience, it’s generally advisable for employers to:

  • Include a general availability schedule to enhance foreseeability for both you and your employee.
  • Conclude a reasonable availability notice given your business interests and the private life of the employee.
  • Avoid unreasonably abrupt termination and consult with the employee before such an act.
  • Unless you are absolutely sure, avoid promising full-time employment to a zero hours staff, whether in written or verbal form.
  • Use our zero hours contract template to protect your legal interests to the fullest extent.

Keep good track of all hours worked and tasks performed to correctly calculate the wage and holiday pay.

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Prepare your legally binding zero hours contract with the AdminTech document generator in just a few clicks and in 5 to 10 minutes