Zero hours contracts – a useful tool for the golf operations industry?

Zero hours contracts have caused negative headlines recently with some of the world’s largest businesses receiving criticism for implementing them – but can they benefit golf facilities?

Within this industry there is a substantial variation in demand throughout the seasons and due to the vagaries of the British weather there has always been a requirement for a flexible workforce.

Jill Perkins, Director at Pulse Golf Recruitment believes, if implemented correctly, zero hours contracts can benefit both employer and employee.

She said: “The variations in demand for golf are well known and can be beneficially served, for both employers and employees, by the use of zero hour contracts.

“While it would obviously be inappropriate to offer a CEO or other management roles a zero hours contract, areas such as F&B are ideally suited for someone who can only offer a flexible 10    
 or 20 hours per week, such as students.

“These candidates, who are fully cognisant of the workings for a zero hours contract, can benefit from this option. Businesses can then offer employment to people, who would be barred from taking up regular, extended or fixed contracts due to their circumstances.”

However, there are a number of caveats attached to offering someone employment on a zero hours contract to ensure they are not exploited or treated differently to any other employee.

Jill continued: “As with every staff appointment I would strongly advocate the necessity of having robust employment procedures, therefore ensuring watertight recruitment and providing full adherence to current employment legislation and full and correct information for your payroll department.

“Going back to basics, when businesses are looking to fill a position they will have a keen eye on what they will need from the person that they recruit. This is equally applicable, whether the position is full or part-time (zero hours) and should form part of the dialogue with potential candidates.

“Employees should be provided with a full and proper contract – be that salaried or zero hours – as this makes clear both the expectations and responsibilities on both sides. Full employment protection is afforded both ways by either contract and in no way must zero hours staff be seen of lesser value.”

She concluded: “Good employer/employee relationships are the foundation of a good business. Happy employees mean happy customers.”