Labour Minister confirms plans to ban zero-hour contracts, reinstate sectoral collective bargaining and raise pay

Shadow Minister for Labour, Laura Pidcock, has confirmed the Labour Party's plans to ban zero-hour contracts, reinstate sectoral collective bargaining and raise pay across the UK.

16 Jul 2019

In an interview with the Morning Star, Pidcock promised a Labour government would take urgent action to provide workers with a voice.

“In my own area we would get started immediately, looking at which sectors we can begin to implement collective agreements that raise pay and improve conditions across the board,” she said.

Low-pay sectors that are renowned for generating insecure jobs would be the first target of reform. “High on the list are social care, agriculture, retail,” she explained.

Alongside collective action, a Labour government would raise statutory rights and to provide “security on hours worked so you can live on your wage”. Pidcock said that this could be achieved by “quickly” banning zero-hour contracts and raising the National Minimum Wage.

The Shadow Minister conceded that effective policing of employers’ compliance with these new rights would “take a bit longer to kick in” but she believes that a change in culture will benefit workers even before the enforcement of the law is made watertight.

“Even now we’re seeing some employers improve business practices because they know Labour is starting to plan these things,” she said.

The Institute of Employment Rights (IER) has been working closely with the Shadow Minister of Labour and her team after the Labour Party adopted key recommendations from our Manifesto for Labour Law. The protection of working hours – including a ban on zero-hour contracts, the reinstatement of sectoral collective bargaining, and a higher National Minimum Wage are all policies that have grown out of the IER’s work.

Click here to read more about the Manifesto for Labour Law