Dacorum Borough Council and Herts County Council defend their zero-hours contracts

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Dacorum Borough Council has revealed that it employs 36 staff on controversial zero-hours contracts – while Herts County Council employs 701 workers on them.

Under the system of employment, staff are told the number of hours they will work and be paid for on a week-by-week basis.

The contracts have come under fire this week after research suggested 1,000,000 people could be working on them nationwide. The Herts branch of public services union Unison says they are ‘unfair’.

But the borough council says all staff on zero-hour contracts get paid salaries above minimum wage that are in line with their post’s pay grade.

It now has two cleaners, two park attendants, 12 adventure playground assistants, two CCTV operators, 11 stewards and six box office assistants at Hemel Hempstead’s Old Town Hall and one anti-social behaviour support officer on zero-hours contracts.

Spokesman Claire McKnight said: “The council regularly reviews the contracts of employment offered to staff.

“Where possible staff will be retained on fixed term or permanent contracts. Most recently some administration staff and cleaners have been transferred over from zero hours contracts to permanent contracts.”

Herts County Council says it employs 33,000 people – and of the 701 who are on zero hours contracts, some also hold permanent part-time jobs for the council.

Both councils say zero-hours contracts are used in roles where demand for employees’ work fluctuates.