The ongoing issue of Zero Hours Contracts raised its head again recently.
At a Labour Party conference in Coventry, Ed Miliband hit out at the UK sports giant, “Sports Direct” for its high use of Zero Hours Contracts by stating "Zero-hours contracts are the way Sports Direct employs the vast majority of its workforce - 17,000 out of its 20,000 workers. “He added: "These Victorian practices, the epidemic of zero-hours contracts that we see at Sports Direct, have no place in the 21st Century."
Miliband has promised that the next Labour Government will bring in new laws giving workers a regular contract if they are working regular hours, the right to refuse demands will be available outside their contracted hours and compensation when shifts are cancelled at short notice.
Miliband’s decision to address this issue and in particular to name a specific company is a brave one after Chris Bryant, a shadow minister, had to backtrack on claims he made about Next and Tesco employing cheap foreign labour last year. It may also fuel criticism from his opponents that the party is too anti-business.
There has been recent concern that zero hours contracts do no offer enough financial stability and security. However following a recent review the Government has ruled out banning zero hours contracts completely,although it is banning the use of exclusivity clauses, where employees on zero hours contracts are only permitted to work for one employer.
This is a hot topic at the moment and one to watch in the future.
For more information on zero hours contracts please see our website;