Zero Hours Contracts Vs. Recruitment Agencies

Very often people will confuse zero hours contracts with agency work. Either they have not worked through an agency, or they are uninformed.
What is a zero hours contract?
A zero hours contract literally means that you are not contracted any minimum hours.
However, you are required to be available at any point in the working week, with no obligation from the employer to provide any set hours

So how is that different to agency work?
The biggest difference between agency work and zero hours contracts is your freedom – our work comes in the form of assignments, meaning that each stint is undertaken separately and you are not contracted for our sole employment in the spaces between.
A zero hours contract you are financially unstable – no set hours mean no set income, and you are unable to find other work in between shifts as you must remain available to your sole employer at all times.

Why do employers offer zero hours contracts?
Many companies can not predict their workload and so employees at their disposal enables the employer to be adequately staffed at all times. If a regular member of staff calls in sick, has a holiday or is late – the employer can call upon another worker immediately. Those familiar with agencies will be wondering why these contracts exist when businesses could get these benefits (and more!) through companies like ours.

In a nutshell:

Agency work Zero hours contract

Agency work

Zero hours contract

  • Can be short notice
  • May be at various workplaces
  • You can choose when to work *
  • Not tied into contracts
  • Able to work elsewhere when employer quiet.



  • Can be short notice
  • Is at one workplace
  • Obligated to work when requested
  • Tied to a sole employer
  • Can not take second job to fill gaps




*If your attitude to work is very negative, we may prefer to not send you to work for our clients.

Want to know more about how agencies work? Why not try…
• How to get the most out of your agency:
• What do agencies actually do?
• 10 reasons you’re still unemployed..