The Guardian reports on a growing employment trend in the U.K., presaged by McDonalds:
Almost a quarter of Britain's major employers now recruit staff on zero-hours contracts that keep workers on standby and deny them regular hours.
According to government estimates, 23% of employers with more than 100 staff have adopted the flexible contract terms for at least some staff following a surge in the number of public sector services contracted out to private providers.
Labour MPs and unions have branded the contracts as a throwback to the Victorian era and say they are being used by employers trying to avoid agency-worker regulations, which entitle agency staff to the same basic terms and conditions as permanent employees after 12 weeks.
The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study found that the proportion of firms with some workers on zero-hours contracts rose from 11% in 2004 to 23% in 2011.
Might this become a model for legal employment that is cyclical or unpredictable by nature?