Ministry of Justice has ‘employed hundreds on zero-hours contracts’

Department reveals gradual decline in use of casual workers since 2011

Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA

By Nicholas Mairs

06 Mar 2018

The Ministry of Justice has admitted to having employed hundreds of people on zero hours contracts, despite widespread political criticism of their use.

The department revealed that since 2011, more than 570 people have worked under contracts with no guaranteed hours.

According to its figures the MoJ has been gradually cutting its use of casual contracts since it recorded a peak of 172 zero-hours workers at the department in a snapshot from December 2011.

There were 21 people working on a casual basis in January 2017.


In response to a written question from Labour MP Chris Ruane, the government confirmed those currently on casual contracts at the MoJ are scheduled court ushers working at HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

The data comes amid government plans to boost the rights of casual and zero-hours workers, including extending holiday and sick-pay entitlements.

Although ministers stopped short of calling for a ban, a review into modern working practices late last year found “too many employers and businesses" rely on flexible contracts.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson told the Telegraph: “While zero hours contracts can offer flexibility, use of zero hours contracts has decreased since 2011, and we will continue to work across the department to cut this number even further.

"We only use these contracts in exceptional circumstances, with less than 0.1% of the civil service workforce on such arrangements.”

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