The Scottish Government will consider if companies taking on public sector contracts should be banned from using zero-hours contracts for their staff.
Finance Secretary John Swinney told MSPs on Holyrood's Economy Committee that he would look at the matter.
The Scottish Government does not employ any members of staff on zero-hours contracts, under which employees are not guaranteed hours to work each week. That is a "pretty clear signal" that ministers do not approve of these arrangements, Mr Swinney said.
The committee pressed him over whether more can be done to prevent the use of such contracts in the public sector. Green MSP Alison Johnstone asked if the public procurement process can include a commitment that firms do not use these contracts.
The Finance Secretary told her: "The Government does not use zero-hours for our staff, so that's a pretty clear signal that the Government does not approve of zero-hours contracts. Whether there is scope and legislative competence to then extend the requirement in procurement contracts that zero-hours contracts cannot be used is a question we would have to consider, and I will certainly consider the matter."
Legislation aimed at reforming the public procurement process will come before Holyrood in "due course", Mr Swinney said, which would enable ministers to "consider some of these questions".
The Finance Secretary told MSPs that the Scottish Government requires firms taking on public sector contracts to "meet standards of approach that we consider to be acceptable in relation to the management and treatment of employees".
He said: "Certainly the Government does not support this as a practice, we don't use this as a practice and we certainly will explore what other opportunities there are to apply that approach within public sector contracts."
The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee was questioning the minister for their inquiry into underemployment. He told the MSPs that he does not believe the problem of people either working fewer hours than they would like or not fully using their skills would be a permanent one.
There is an "inextricable link between levels of economic activity and underemployment", the Finance Secretary said, arguing that the problem would ease when the economy improved.