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And finally…

Okay, so it’s Halloween. But with Christmas being just around the corner, it seems only right to spare a thought for hard-working elves.

It turns out that zero-hours contracts are the way forward for this lot – or for some, at least. The Guardian reported that one Center Parcs is recruiting a small number of elves who are prepared to enter into this sort of casual arrangement. For some of Santa’s crew this means they’ll only work when they are needed during busy periods.

For all the criticism that lands at the door of zero-hours contracts, the seasonality of certain jobs and industries is one big reason for their appeal. If employers are happy, and workers are happy – and, let’s face it, you can’t get much happier than an elf – then there’s an argument that these ‘as-and-when’ arrangements deserve to play a part in modern workplaces.

But according to a poll commissioned by the union, Unite, more than six in ten people in the UK want zero-hours contracts to be banned. With that in mind, the future of these agreements may not be looking all that… elfy!