Many workers on zero-hours contracts feel excluded from the sense of security, fairness and trust that is associated with permanent contracts of employment, according to a recent Acas study.

Acas looked at recent research around zero-hours contracts, as well as the numbers of employers and employees who called the Acas helpline about these contracts.

It found that on average there were 70 calls a week about zero-hours contracts to the helpline. The use of exclusivity clauses did not appear to be a significant issue amongst callers, but a feeling of 'effective exclusivity' did emerge as a major concern.

"Our analysis reveals that many workers on zero-hours contracts experience a deep sense of unfairness and mistrust that goes beyond the use of exclusivity clauses,” commented Acas Chair, Sir Brendan Barber.

"A lot of workers on zero-hours contracts are afraid of looking for work elsewhere, turning down hours, or questioning their employment rights in case their work is withdrawn or reduced,” he added. “This deep rooted 'effective exclusivity' can be very damaging to trust and to the employment relationship.”

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