Less than zero? The fragmentation of worker protection in UK employment law

Nicole Busby, Rebecca Zahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a considerable and diverse body of literature which examines the changing nature and composition of labour – referred to using various terms such as precarious, non-standard, contingent, atypical, insecure, and flexible. These terms reflect a variety of contractual arrangements which govern the work relationship including: part-time work; fixed-term work; temporary agency work; dependent self-employment; and, work on the basis of zero hour contracts (the focus of this article). Although these types of working arrangements are far from new to the UK, they have attracted public and policy attention in recent years due to the increased use of online apps as a means of managing the arrangements under which work is performed so that, for those who work within the so-called ‘gig economy’, the allocation of work and agreements regarding associated terms and conditions is made online, often without any human interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalComparative Labor Law and Policy Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Jun 2023


  • labour
  • part time work
  • full time work
  • contracts
  • gig economy


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