Latest Public Sector News

10.09.13

Miliband to restrict ‘terrible misuse’ of zero-hours contracts

Zero-hours contract cannot continue to be used as an “excuse for exploitation”, Labour leader Ed Miliband will say today.

In a speech to the TUC, he will put forward proposals to restrict the use of zero-hours contracts and protect employees’ rights. Recent research by Unite suggests as many as 5.5 million people are working on zero-hours contracts.

The proposals include giving anyone working for a single employer for over 12 weeks the automatic right to a full-time contract, stopping employers from insisting zero-hours workers be available without a guarantee of work, and scrapping contracts where employees can only work for one business.

The former director of human resources at Morrisons, Norman Pickavance, will chair an independent consultation with business groups on how these measures could be work in practice.

Miliband will say: “We must stop flexibility being used as the excuse for exploitation. Of course, there are some kinds of these contracts which are useful. For doctors, or supply teachers at schools, or sometimes, young people working in bars. But you and I know that zero-hours contracts have been terribly misused. This kind of exploitation has to stop.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Image c. Plashing Vole

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