DEAR Northern Voices,
'Bad for Britain, bad for workers, bad for you'.The rise of zero hours contracts in the workplace is the latest attack on workers’ rights and dignity. Put simply, zero hours contracts cover a range of arrangements that mean workers have no guaranteed weekly hours or income, and are only being paid for the hours that they do work. Unite wants to challenge employers to end the exploitation.
Employers use zero hours contracts to cut wages, avoid holiday pay, pensions, and other benefits enjoyed by employees and agency staff. Workers are also unable to take on other work, as they are obliged to be available for work at the whim of the employer. And with the high level of insecurity comes the risk of bullying, harassment and stress. It’s time to end the exploitation.
Zero hours contracts are on the rise having almost doubled in the last five years. The latest data shows some 1.8 million jobs are zero hours contracts, and these figures underestimate the reality as many people do not know they are on them. The real figure may be even higher.
It’s time to end the exploitation of British workers once and for all .
They are Bad for Britain, bad for workers, and bad for you.
Please contact your MP and tell them to oppose the rise of zero hours contracts. clear recommendations for progress have been made by the union Unite which we know would help end exploitation for many zero hours workers. These include recommendations to :
- Drop the steep charge for employment tribunals (one of the only ways workers can pursue justice);
- Define zero hours workers as employees with all the legal protections that accompany this;
- Require government to use its purchasing power to wipe out insecure employment from all state contracts.
UNITE member ( NW /1045 Branch)