Buckingham Palace and all the Tate galleries are among the UK institutions employing staff on controversial zero-hours contracts, it has emerged.
The Palace employs 350 part-time summer staff on zero-hours contracts. All catering staff at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives are also on zero-hours contracts, which have no guaranteed hours, a Guardian investigation has revealed.
All of Cineworld’s part-time multiplex staff are in the same situation, as are 20,000 Sports Direct employees (some 90% of its total staff), as the Guardian revealed earlier this week.
Zero-hours contracts offer no guaranteed work, but come with the expectation that staff should be ready to work as soon as requested. Employees must receive at least national minimum wage, but do not have legal rights to sick pay or holiday pay.
Staff may have to work at a few hours’ notice, but also risk no pay at the end of the week if they are not needed.
The Guardian has published excerpts from a zero-hours contract issued in 2009 to a member of staff at a Buckingham Palace exhibition: “Your hours of work will be advised by the visitor manager and will be dependent upon the requirements for retail assistants at Buckingham Palace as and when required.
“You are employed to work exclusively for Royal Collection Enterprises Limited [a Palace subsidiary] and if you wish to seek secondary employment you must first obtain the written consent of your Head of Department.”
A spokesperson for the Palace told the Guardian: “All temporary staff employed during the summer opening of Buckingham Palace are issued with fixed-term employment contracts for a three-or four-month period. These are not zero-hours contracts.”
The spokesperson argued that because the staff received certain benefits, such as a free lunch and holiday pay, the contracts could not be classed as zero-hours.
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