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BMA warns against any extension of “zero hours” contracts in NHS

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 05 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5969
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The public service union Unison has claimed that the growth of “zero hours” contracts in the NHS risks damaging patient care. The union believes that such contracts, which are already fairly common among lower paid workers, are increasing among the more highly qualified and people with clinical roles as a direct result of the coalition government’s reorganisation of the healthcare system.

Zero hours contracts, sometimes called “as and when” contracts, do not commit those people who sign them to any set hours or guarantee them any pay. But they provide hospitals with a pool of experienced staff who can be called on at times of increased demand and give individuals a …

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