A zero hours contract. That is pretty much where every budding sole trader and entrepreneur starts. No work, no customers, no money, no sickness pay, no holiday, no pension. Doesn’t sound good, does it?
So why do so many people sign up for their own zero hours contracts? Because the contract is with yourself. There is no work unless you go out and get it. There are no customers unless you pound the streets with your leaflets or blitz social media. There is no money unless you chase up payment of the bills. There is certainly no time to be sick, and nobody to ring up on a Monday morning after a heavy weekend. Holiday is one of those things you will fondly remember until you can generate enough income to pay somebody to cover for you. Your pension may well be the business that you own when you can afford to give up and sell it to your daughter!
It sounds like exploitation doesn’t it? Taking cruel advantage of someone who has not the power to demand a pay increase. But the reality is that the only people who will exploit you will be your customers and your suppliers. You will be in charge of everything else.
This week we funded an exporter of collactables, a burger stall, an interior designer and an Italian restaurant. Four more people on the zero hours contract list, but stepping up to help themselves.