Latest Public Sector News

07.08.13

‘Vital role’ for zero hours contracts – CBI

Zero hours contracts have been defended as essential to maintain employment through the recession. The Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) called the contracts “flexible” and criticised attempts to regulate or reduce such working practices.

CBI chief executive John Cridland said: “These contracts play a vital role as a way of keeping people in employment.

“If we hadn’t had this flexible working when the economy contracted, unemployment would have topped 3m – and it didn’t. It went to 2.5m.”

Business secretary Vince Cable is reviewing zero hours working, after it emerged that around a million staff are employed under the contracts, far higher than official estimates. Around 14% of these people wanted to work more hours, the CIPD reported.

Labour is holding a summit to tackle the growing number of zero hours contracts.

Shadow work and pensions minister Stephen Timms said: “Underemployment is a massive, growing problem for millions of families already feeling the pinch from rising prices.

"More than one in 10 are now unable to work the hours they would like because this Government strangled the recovery. That's why the real story of the labour market is falling wages, almost a million young people out of work and millions working harder for less.”

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Image c. HelenCobain

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