21 November 2014
The Zero Hours Contract Bill has started its second reading today (21 November), but was adjourned. The second reading debate is expected to resume on Friday 23 January 2015.
The bill aims to restrict the use of zero-hours contracts, which while intended for seasonal or short-term work have become the norm across many sectors.
Ian Mearns, Labour MP for Gateshead moved the Bill. He said that he is “fighting for the same thing that people of every generation have fought for: the right to decent and secure conditions and terms of employment”
He continued, “It is not a great ask. A well-paid and steady job is the bedrock on which people build their lives. It is the starting point for planning for the future, and the platform of stability needed to pay the bills, meet the rent, pay the mortgage and start a family. Those are not extravagances, but the minimum that should be available to any person who is prepared to work to pay their way in a wealthy nation such as ours. Yet that stability and security is denied to millions of workers in this country. Increasingly, people are finding themselves plagued by job insecurity, not knowing from one day to the next whether they will be working or earning.”
Mearns pointed out the “startling” rise in people feeling insecure at work, having almost doubled from 6.5 million people to 12 million. The reality is not one of economic recovery, he argued, but economic transformation, where “the jobs that were lost due to the global economic crash and the Government cuts have been largely replaced by low-skilled, low-waged and, sadly, insecure jobs. It is leaving large swathes of the work force living on, or just above, the breadline.”
The full debate is available to read here
For more information on Zero Hours Contracts and their consequences for workers, Re-regulating Zero Hours Contracts, is available now.