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Number of employment contracts with no guaranteed minimum hours drops by a third in two years

The trend for using controversial zero-hours contracts may have “begun to unwind”, experts have suggested, after official figures revealed their usage had dropped by a third since their peak two years ago.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows there were 1.4m employment contracts that did not guarantee a minimum number of hours in use in May, down a third (33 per cent) from a peak of 2.1m in May 2015.

“Coupled with figures we’ve already seen from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) showing a small fall in the number of people who say they’re on zero-hours contracts, it seems possible that the trend towards this type of work has begun to unwind,” said David Freeman, senior ONS labour market statistician.

The LFS found 883,000 people, or 2.8 per cent of all people in employment, had a zero-hours contract role as their main job between April and June 2017, compared with 903,000 people, or 2.9 per cent of all those in employment, between April and June 2016.

Leave for new dads should be ringfenced, says government watchdog

Pay gaps in crucial areas such as gender and ethnicity could be reduced if all jobs were advertised as flexible and fathers were given more support to take time off to care for their children, the government’s equality watchdog has said.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) argued that offering more jobs as flexible would open up more opportunities to women and disabled people, who were more likely to take part-time work or need to negotiate flexible hours.

Meanwhile, giving men a ‘use it or lose it’ right to decently paid paternity leave could encourage more fathers to take time off to care for their newborn children and prevent women paying for motherhood with their careers.

Employee sentenced to six weeks for deleting confidential emails

Case highlights ‘very serious consequences’ of disregarding court orders

A cleaning contractor employee who deleted confidential emails in defiance of an injunction from his employer has been sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment.

Jagdeep Dadi was an employee at OCS Group, an aviation cleaning contractor at Heathrow Airport, but in February 2017 he was transferred to a competing contractor, OmniServ, via TUPE after OCS lost the contract. Following the transfer, OCS claimed that Dadi had breached his employment contract by sending confidential information to his private email and slapped him with an interim injunction.

It was alleged that Dadi conspired with his manager, Mr Ahitan, who was also transferred to OmniServ, to breach his employment duties at OCS. Dadi and two other employees were served with an order that prohibited them from disclosing confidential information to third parties or destroying any evidence relating to the order, and required them to disclose any items of confidential information that had already been shared.

Despite being warned that breaking the order could lead to a fine or a prison sentence, Dadi deleted around 8,000 emails and tipped off others, including his manager, about the injunction, before seeking legal advice. After obtaining advice, he admitted breaching the order and cooperated with OCS in trying – albeit unsuccessfully – to recover the deleted emails.

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