In response to a query from Unison, service company ISS – which boasts it is the “world’s largest and most successful outsourcing service provider in 2013 and 2014” – has provided an interesting definition of zero hours contracts.
In ISS’s view zero hours contracts guarantee no work but “crucially” bind workers to employers so that they cannot work for someone else if there is a gap in “assignments”. ISS’s casual contracts bind a worker to ISS for 5, 10, 15 or whatever number of hours but then, if there is no work, the worker is “free” to take work with another employer.
ISS believes that the term zero hours contracts, if applied to them, is misleading and misrepresents the situation and is obviously a political invention by the enemies of employers. Workers employed by ISS regard this argument as sophistry and a further wheeze to disguise casualisation and fragmentation of the workforce.