22 September 2017
There are now 1.4 million workers employed via zero-hour contracts, according to the latest Office for National Statistics report.
Workers on these contracts have no guarantee of work so cannot plan their time or finances. A recent study by Salford and Sheffield Hallam universities found that people without guaranteed hours feel pressure to take last-minute shifts to avoid being ‘zeroed down’ – where an employer stops offering them shifts entirely.
Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said: “It is a national scandal that there are 1.4 million contracts that don’t guarantee minimum hours, with people stuck in limbo in insecure work, not knowing how much they’ll earn from week to week, unable to budget for basic necessities and unsure if they can even pay the rent.
“The Government urgently needs to get a grip on the broken labour market which is rigged against workers and adopt Labour’s policy to ban zero hour contracts.”
In our Manifesto for Labour Law – recommendations for reform that Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell confirmed have been adopted as the blueprint for Labour Party policy – leading lawyers and academics propose the introduction of defined hours contracts to replace zero-hour contracts. In this model, workers would be given a guaranteed minimum number of hours either per week or month, and the employer would set a percentage of hours on which a worker can be “on call”, during which time they would be legally required to pay a retainer.
Rebecca Long-Bailey will be speaking at our free Labour Party Conference fringe on Monday 25 September. See the flyer below for more details.