All out for USS

UCU response to Nick Clegg's zero-hours contracts investigation

31 July 2013 | last updated: 10 December 2015

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is investigating the breadth and impact of zero-hours contracts, confirmed deputy prime minister Nick Clegg today.

UCU said staff and students in colleges and universities suffered from the widespread use of zero-hours contracts, which it said denied staff the financial security or stability to operate on a month to month basis, and denied students continuity with their teachers.

UCU is currently collating its own data on the prevalence of zero-hours contracts in colleges and universities and hopes to release the findings in early August.

UCU president, Simon Renton, said: 'Zero-hours contracts remain the unacceptable underbelly of further and higher education.  Only the catering sector employs more people on casual contracts than our colleges and universities, and staff and students suffer from their widespread use.

'Staff are denied full employee status and key employment rights. Without a guaranteed income they are unable to make financial or employment plans on a year to year, or even month to month basis.

'Students miss out on a lack of continuity and, often, receive reduced access to staff employed on minimal hours. There are other ways to deliver the flexibility that employers claim they need while providing a level of financial security for staff and continuity for students.'