A zero-hour contract (zero-jikan keiyaku/ ゼロ時間契約) is an employment contract used in the U.K. containing provisions that create an "on-call" arrangement between an employer and employee. It does not oblige the employer to provide work for the employee. On the other hand, an employee agrees to be available for work as and when required, so that no particular number of hours or times of work are specified. Official figures showed last week that nearly 583,000 employees — more than double the government's estimate — were forced to sign up to the controversial conditions last year.