Zero-Hour Contracts: Pros and Cons

At the start of the year, newspapers were already warning of the impending spread of zero-hour contracts, referred to by the Daily Mirror as a ‘cancer’ that would spread to 1.5 million workers this year. Zero-hour contracts basically offer work as and when an employer wishes; prospective employees are under no obligation to accept this offer, but if they don’t, the employer may decide not to offer them further work.

For some, the lack of security of zero-hour contracts make them a last resource; for others, however, zero-hour contracts are a handy way to earn an additional income or make ends meet between jobs. In this post we discuss a few pros and cons of this type of working arrangement:

Zero-Hour Contracts

 The Upside of a Zero Hour Contract:    

  • Flexibility: You can always turn down a shift if you are offered zero hour work, yet the downside of this is that your employers can decide to work with someone else in the future so you might feel obliged to accept.
  • Free Time: In theory, a zero hour contract does not offer full-time hours, so it can work well for students or those trying to make a little extra money while taking time off. In reality, however, they can involve around 50 or 60 hours, so it may be worth waiting until you find standard full-time work.
  • Freedom to apply for another job: In the past, under a zero contract arrangement, an employer could demand exclusivity from a worker. Thankfully, this is no longer the case, so you can use the free time between jobs to find more suitable employment.
  • Industry experience: Sometimes, companies offer zero-contract jobs because of budgetary restrictions. However, this type of contract can be seen as an opportunity to show your employer your ability and drive, so that when a full-time position becomes available, you could be considered for it. Zero contract work also provides you with the experience you may have been lacking in the industry you would eventually like to work in.

The Downside of a Zero Hour Contract:

  • Lack of Stability: This type of contract does not offer set hours of work, so the amount you take home will vary from week to week. If you find yourself in this situation, see the Gov.uk website to find out if you are entitled to any benefits.
  • Lack of Benefits: A zero hour contract lacks many of the benefits of a permanent or fixed contract, including a pension and redundancy rights, as well as sick or holiday pay. This can be frustrating, especially if you are putting the same hours and effort into the job as fixed or permanent workers. Under a zero hour contract, you can be fired with very little notice and you will have very limited rights to claim unfair dismissal.
  • Always On Call: If you have children or other obligations, not knowing when you will be needed at work can make you feel very insecure. If you enjoy a good relationship with your employer, inform them of your schedule beforehand, so they can offer you work during your free hours.
  • Struggling to make payments: Since you may not be called in to work for one or various weeks, you may be unable to meet regular monthly payments such as a mortgage, groceries, electricity, etc. Moreover, you may be rejected when you ask for credit or for a large loan such as a mortgage, owing to your lack of financial stability.  Additionally, under a zero hour contract, the hourly pay can be very low – sometimes little more than the minimum wage.

The final verdict:

If you are seeking to gain more experience in a particular industry, or gain a little extra money while studying or during a sabbatical, a zero hour contract can be a good temporary solution. However, if you are looking for something more permanent and reliable, or if you wish to buy a home or obtain credit for a car, renovations etc., you are better off looking for a permanent or fixed contract. Use the zero hour contract to your best advantage, without falling prey to permanent instability. Sometimes, this type of arrangement can be just what you need during a specific moment in your life.

Searching for a Profitable Rental Property Investment

From the time you have the money and make the decision to investing in rental property to actually buying your first new property in Gurgaon there is a lot of work that needs to be done.  The first, and most important, thing that you need to do is start your search of all the new property that you can invest in.  To help you complete your investment purchase you should hire a real estate agent to make sure you are doing everything correctly.

When searching for a new projects that will make a profitable rental investment you should search out:

Neighborhood—

if you intend to rent out your new property in Gurgaon then this is an important thing to know because it will help you know just what type of tenants you will have to rent to and how often you will have it vacant. You will also want to take note if it is in a high crime area because this can not only affect the property value but also tenants you rent to and neighbors you will have.

Property taxes—

  • when investing in any rental property you want to know what the property taxes will be because they are not standard across the board. The amount of property taxes will be taken from the amount of what you are making in rent and increase your monthly payment.
  • Schools—if the new property in Gurgaon is an area that is for families you want to look at the schools to make sure if they are elementary, high school, or private and how close they are to the property so you can tell your prospective tenants if you are planning to rent it out or if you have children or planning to you will know what schools are nearby. If the school has a poor reputation it can affect the value of your property investment if you decide to sell it later.
  • Jobs opportunities—if the new property in Gurgaon is located near employment opportunities and you plan to rent it out then your choice of tenants will increase. If you are investing in a property to live there most will want to live near where they work or plan on working instead of driving an hour or so each way to work.

You also need to take note of all amenities around the new property in Gurgaon you are interested in investing in such as are they any parks, shopping areas, transportation, etc.  You also need to check what the monthly payments or amount of rent you can charge on your new investments if you rent it out.  Do your research before making any investments.

Franchise Financing – Making the Right Choice

At We Can Financial, we want to assist you to make the best and most educated decision when selecting a franchise and the appropriate financing process.  As you are selecting a franchise, understand that experience and knowledge of the business is invaluable in obtaining a small business loan as a financing method.  From start to finish, the criteria can be different for each situation, but the basics remain the same.

Many of our clients approach us after attending a quarterly franchise show, which can give them the impression that owning and operating a franchise is easy and an easy was to make money.  This common misconception, leads to the first order of business.  Upon a client making a request of getting small business loan finance for a franchise, it is extremely important that the client understands the importance of having experience in the field.  Having this experience, preferably management gives the client insight into the line of business they are selecting.  At We Can Financial, we inform our clients of the financial obligations, responsibilities, future liabilities, and significant costs associated with small business finance.  It is important to understand that nothing comes easy, and the amount of effort and work that the client will have to put into this experience over the next two to three years will be difficult and most likely not very profitable.

However, if the client has not had any previous experience in the line of work they are seeking to enter into a franchise, we highly suggest that the client spend two to three months working in the field.  During this time it is recommended that the client discover and experience every aspect of the business.  This experience can be crucial for the client when selecting a franchise.  It may be an eye opening experience for the client causing him to choose a different avenue, but if the experience is a positive one, we begin the process of reviewing small business loans and financing.

Different franchises chose to operate in different manners.  This can affect the type of financing needed and the terms.  Selecting a well known franchise in conjunction with good financing arrangements with prime banks is a smart decision.  The terms are then the next major part to discuss.  The franchisor and other active franchises in the area will want to discuss with the client the following questions:

  • How much cash is required for startup costs?
  • How much cash reserve is required until the business is expected to break even with the operating expenses?

All these items must be answered, agreed upon, and verified.  The final step is that we will assist the client in putting together the required business loan for the desired franchise, with multiple lenders and small business financing programs.

Our knowledgeable staff keeps up to date on the most current updates and what is available and required to obtain certain types of Ontario small business loans.  At We Can Financial we have a 90% success rate of helping you deal with the specifics of the financing process of the business and helping you obtain the small business financing to operate a successful franchise.