Zero Tolerance for Zero Hours

According to new CIPD research one million working people could be on zero hours contracts, meaning the controversial employment terms are being use more widely than feared.


Writing for the Guardian last week, Ian Murray MP, the shadow Employment Relations Minister said: “How can people be expected to live their lives in such a way? It is a life on edge. You don’t know what your working day will be, and you have no sick pay or holiday pay.”


The Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable is conducting a review of zero-hours, although Labour has criticised it as being “totally inadequate” and not comparable to a formal inquiry. Labour’s Chuka Umunna MP said the contracts should be the exception to the rule. Talking to the BBC, Chuka said: “While some employees welcome the flexibility of such contracts, for many zero-hours contracts leave them insecure, unsure of when work will come, and undermining family life. The ‘review’ the business secretary has established is clearly inadequate given the seriousness of this issue & the mounting evidence of abuse. Nothing less than a proper consultation with a formal call for evidence will do.”


Labour Shadow Minister Chuka Umunna’s twitter feed today

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady speaking recently on the issue said:

’300,000 workers in the care sector alone are employed on these insecure terms and conditions and that is before you factor in sectors like higher education, retail, legal services and journalism.
Employers cannot be allowed to take advantage of the current economic climate to employ people on the cheap.’


Today, Unions21 has announced news of a fringe event at Labour Party Conference entitled ‘Zero Tolerance for Zero Hours’ which will be held in partnership with the union BALPA.


The event is open to all and will be an opportunity to discuss the impact of the contracts, and the response from unions and the Labour Party.


For more information and to attend the meeting, click here.




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