8 Days Remaining

Monday 25th
posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

WESTMINSTER must act against zero-hours contracts, the GMB union said yesterday after it published a report showing that it would take until 2061 for them to disappear under the current slow rate of decline.

A much-heralded fall in zero-hours employment amounts to barely a 2 per cent difference, GMB said.

The Office of National Statistics says that 883,000 workers have been subjected to zero-hours contracts this year — a fall of 20,000 compared to 2016.

Zero-hours contracts commit employees to being available for work at any time but give them no guarantee of work.

The union will officially launch its report at the Labour Party conference in Brighton today.

General secretary Tim Roache said: “We already hear stories of workers who get on the bus to work only to get a text saying they aren’t needed that day.

“How can you plan for childcare, let alone your future, when you’ve no idea what your wage packet will be from one week to the next? It’s no way to live and it has to stop.

“The UK government could act, but is choosing not to and as a result is being left behind by so many other countries and advanced economies who are tackling insecure work.”

Zero-hours contracts have been banned in New Zealand and laws have been implemented in Germany, France and Italy to guarantee working hours.

A Business Department spokesman said: “The continued strength of our economy is built on the flexibility of our labour market, but we do recognise concerns it is not working fairly for everyone.”