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MP Calls For Action On 'Exploitative Contracts'

Wednesday April 30 2014

A BARNSLEY MP has called for the introduction of legal rights for those who are on zero-hours contracts.

Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, wants employees to be able to demand a fixed hours contract when they have worked regular hours over six months with the same employer.

It comes after a new report urged for zero-hours contracts to be scrapped across the UK. The report, by the Scottish Affairs Committee, said the countrywide increase in the use of the contract was 'abusive, exploitative and should be abolished'.

Mr Dugher, who also wants greater protection for workers who are forced into being available at all hours, said: "More and more people in Barnsley are being left not knowing how they will make ends meet.

"I want to see action taken to ensure employees who have worked regular hours get a regular contract."

Analysis from the Office of National Statistics shows that there has been a three-fold increase in the number of workers on zero-hours contracts since 2010, from 168,000 to 583,000.

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Reply Posted by sid on Wednesday April 30 2014 at 13:53
I went to an educational meeting about contracts etc just yesterday. This, to be honest is down to posts on here from STEVEO. I realised my knowledge was somewhat ancient,so decided to up my game for all concerned at my little business. ZHContracts were a topic covered and I was amazed at just how much freedom an employer has regarding contracts. At the end of the seminar,I have come to the conclusion that if the employer is so minded there is no one to ensure that good employment ethics are in place. In my opinion,this needs looking at from a fair minded stance,as fairness has gone out of the window. There has been too much interferance from Europe and now both employee and employer are at each others throats.(not in my place,I hasten to add) I hope the whole contracts rules as they stand today are scrapped and simplified and new rules are made. Fairness is just that,fair to both sides. I will not be changing much within my contracts as to be honest, I may be a small fish,but Im fair and my guys stay forever. Contract and rules should be flexy for the size of each business for a start. It needs employers and employees to work out a contract for each company,and the rest keep thier noses out. It makes sense,no one interfereing and everyone is happy. We are alll along time at work,so it must be a good experiance. Some may call the unions and yes there has been some horror stories,but as it stands now,no one is happy...if the big companies keep making up thier own rules and regs, god help our next generations.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday April 30 2014 at 19:41
The 583,000 quoted by the ONS is pie in the sky, TUC historical data shows that there are "at least" 1.2 to 1.5 MILLION people on ZHC'S and over 600,000 an "annualised" or similar to "annualised" contracts.
The data also shows there are various other different types of contracts (totalling another 400,000+) that people have to endure, far too many to list on here though!

ZHC'S are a relatively new thing but the readers of this forum would be VERY surprised at some of the companies that use ZHC'S!

Funny don't you think that the Rt Hon Dugher MP is bleating on about ZHC'S when the warehouse at the end of the bypass in his OWN constituency uses "annualised" hours contracts, admittedly not exactly the same as ZHC'S but the warehouse at the end of the bypass ONLY use agency labour (for the first 6-12 months of the agency employees tenure/contract) which is in effect a ZHC as said agencies can and DO hire and fire at will.
The people who manage to run the gauntlet and actually get set on by the warehouse at the end of the bypass STILL have to endure "annualised" contracts which are tantamount to slave labour.

Again, said this before is it any wonder that 10,000 people have been through the doors at the warehouse at the end of the bypass AND the fact that WATEOTB made £40 million profit last year?

The three main employers that use ZHC'S here in the UK are "the biggest American fast food chain of restaurants" THE biggest Sports retailer in the UK and the biggest Low cost Pub Chain in the UK.
Again, all are EXTREMELY profitable and NONE of them have EVER made a loss!

Can anyone see a pattern emerging here?

QUOTE" Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, wants employees to be able to demand a fixed hours contract when they have worked regular hours over six months with the same employer." this WONT work as the large majority of employers will only recruit via hire and fire agencies and those said agencies will lay the person off before that person reaches the 6 months time limit.

Scrap the agencies that DONT comply with legislation that is in place to keep them in check , SCRAP zero hours, annualised and any other contract that is exploitative and ensure the employee has a level playing field.


Lets get back to basics, a 40 hour week for forty hours pay.

Hardly surprising that we are just one year and one WEEK away from the next general election and Labour are already promising the working man (person) things that will not stick to if they manage to get elected into power, we have seen it all before haven't we Duggy?

Hollow promises......

Reply Posted by Terry on Sunday May 4 2014 at 21:27
Agree totally STEVEO!!!!

Reply Posted by Collet on Wednesday April 30 2014 at 13:55
That's what MPs owt to be on

Reply Posted by sid on Wednesday April 30 2014 at 14:01
Haha, well said Collet. So few words as against my post, but yours are much better.

Reply Posted by Tom on Thursday May 1 2014 at 03:57
Labour's Future Jobs Fund was employment for just short of a year. Young people employed on the scheme would have had a proper job with a degree of employment protection had they worked for over a year.

I think employees must now have to work for 2 years to get certain rights.

But the average contract of employment gets shorter and shorter, and there is far less security of employment... New industries come and go.

Reply Posted by STEVE on Thursday May 1 2014 at 17:42
I remember watching a film with my Father in the 70's on TV,the scene was outside a place of work in the 1930's ,a Factory or may a Dockyard.The gates opened and man appeared in a suite holding a clipboard and said to the crowd of maybe 150 men all wearing flat caps "30 wanted today" and went on to say you,you,you etc,and at the end before turning around and going back throu the gates he said "Tomorrow maybe 75 needed" the unpicked men for work went home,My Father said "They would do next Monday if they thought they could get away with doing it",Well who would have thought that 40 years after watching that film with my Father its happening again in 2014

Reply Posted by anon on Thursday May 1 2014 at 17:52
I saw that film too steve. I can't remember the film,but that part I do. Will it be happening again in time? I wonder too with house prices rising and mortgages being almost impossible to get will tithe houses come back? The massive companies are making massive profit,can you just see them building rows of little pens all along the bypass to rent out to the skivvies. I honestly can imagine it.

Reply Posted by Paul on Friday May 2 2014 at 17:16
And these ZHC was dreamed up by
Yes the Labour Party ..