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Are Zero Hour Contracts Being Abolished

author
Earl Hamilton
• Friday, 15 January, 2021
• 7 min read

According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics, over a million British workers are on zero -hours contracts. In an age where the poorest and most vulnerable in our society are already struggling with uncertainty, this situation is scandalous.

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(Source: www.mirror.co.uk)

Contents

Any individual on a zero hours contract who is a ‘worker’ will be entitled to at least the National Minimum Wage, paid annual leave, rest breaks and protection from discrimination. Sadly, the evidence suggests that rather than welcoming a brave new world of flexible working, it’s become another way of hammering the poor.

Worse still, many workers fear that their hours will be reduced if they complain about poor treatment from their employers. The central mission of The Workers Union is to protect the health, wealth and wellbeing of working people.

The Act provides some matters that must be regarded when deciding what a reasonable level of compensation is (s 67D). In that scenario, there is little to prevent the employer retreating to the minimum guaranteed hours if they became dissatisfied with an employee.

A true victory for Labor and the Greens, in the writer’s view, will only come if there are further amendments creating more practical enforceability. Solutions that are based on an assumption of comparable bargaining strength (in this case, the ability to agree additional hours) will always fail the vulnerable as they simply aren’t on an even footing with employers due to socioeconomic factors such as the availability of suitable work.

But the government said a ban would “impact more people than it would help”, arguing zero -hours worked well for students, carers and retirees. “They provide flexibility for both employers and individuals, such as carers, students, or retirees,” a business department spokesman added.

zero contracts hours hour sector destruction gales creative workers struggle prevalence class rises levels record source
(Source: utopiayouarestandinginit.com)

“ Zero -hours workers regularly work through the night for low pay, putting their health at risk. Workers on zero -hours contracts are still entitled to statutory annual leave and the national minimum wage.

Although such contracts have been controversial, many say they provide flexibility to people such as students, parents and those with other caring responsibilities. But critics say that zero -hours contracts create insecurity for workers and are used by employers to undercut wages and avoid holiday pay and pension contributions.

A bill seeking to ban zero -hours contacts and bolster workers’ rights is to come before parliament for a second reading next week. Bill sponsor Chris Stephens, MP for Glasgow South West, said the Workers (Definition and Rights) Bill 2017-19 would bring some clarity to the definition of a “worker” in light of recent Supreme Court judgments, and provide greater protection from the first day of a person’s employment.

“The time has come to secure legislation that uses the court judgments to clarify the nature and status of workers today.” However, employment lawyer John Hayes of Constantine Law said it would be difficult to enforce a ban on zero -hours contracts.

While they can give flexibility to both parties, they can result in workers lacking guaranteed income and having reduced access to entitlements such as maternity, holiday and sick pay and redundancy rights, the committee said. The MPs said Ministers recognize that poor practice exists and needs to be addressed but concluded that the UK Government's consultation on such contracts was too narrow.

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(Source: ercouncil.org)

In its lengthy report it also branded the exploitation of low-paid workers through non-payment of the minimum wage a “disgrace” and said it was “alarmed” by the extent to which zero hours contracts are used by Scotland's higher education sector. Mr Davidson, Labor MP for Glasgow South West, said of the contracts : “In most cases their use is evidence of sloppy, lazy or incompetent management, who intimidate their workforce by keeping them insecure.

Senator GED Nash, a former junior business minister said, “The bottom line is that there are still too many people in this country going to bed on a Sunday night and not knowing how much they will earn that week because of uncertainty over their hours.” This is a very true statement, but he also mentioned that he welcomes this decision cautiously. On its front the legislation sounds fantastic, and it’s hard to see who is to lose out except for all the big businesses who have been taking advantage of the style of contracts for far too long over the years.

There’s also the fact that a lot of students rely on this type of work in which they manage the flexible hours around their college timetables while still being able to provide for themselves throughout the year. It would be unreasonable on that basis to expect businesses to promise fixed hours to its workforce.

These and other spurious arguments are being used to proliferate zero -hours contracts on an unprecedented level in the UK today. The Office for National Statistics reports that the number of us employed with these contracts has now risen to a staggering 744,000 : a rise of 19% in the past year, despite being heavily criticized during the election.

First, what some call “the preparing” are increasingly forced to endure such awful lives of stress that they are simply buckling under the pressure. According to some behavioral economists there is no doubt that the endless worry caused by economic uncertainty impedes the body’s immune system, and you get sick more.

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(Source: www.slideshare.net)

Hence, to the problem with the otherwise convincing arguments about “empty labor” and “presenters” that have appeared recently. Modern office life is rightly derided for being wastefully padded out with moments of staring into space, chatting to friends and paying bills online.

This criticism quietly assumes that the zero -hours’ fixation with direct labor is the way most productive jobs operate. They prop up and artificially inflate profit margins (or “surpluses” as they are euphemistically called in the public sector).

One can only guess whether the HM Revenue and Customs’ ultra-aggressive tax collection policy is linked to all this. But as Thomas Pretty suggests in his study of inequality in the late capitalist age, there is something decidedly pre-modern about this phase neoliberalism, with its plutocrats, oligarchs and renters back in full swing.

Because the shifts are so irregular I can’t even find another job alongside it because I can be called in last minute.” These contracts allow employers to cut costs by hiring staff with no guarantee of work, hours or pay.

From shift patterns that change every week to hours cut at the last minute, planning your life on a MHC is often a nightmare. We want workers to get guaranteed hours, so they can pay the bills and save for the future.

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(Source: www.youtube.com)

This can vary wildly in the current economic climate, making financial planning very difficult. Zero -hours workers are supposed to get statutory annual leave and the National Minimum Wage, but they’re often denied these basic entitlements and have no legal right to sick pay.

Or the nanny who couldn’t rent a property because her earnings were suddenly cut in half when her hours changed at the last minute.

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Sources
1 columbuszoo.org - https://columbuszoo.org/job-search
2 www.columbuszoo.org - https://www.columbuszoo.org/join_the_team/internships
3 www.vet.osu.edu - https://www.vet.osu.edu/education/zoo-wildlife-medicine
4 cahsinternship.wordpress.com - https://cahsinternship.wordpress.com/tag/internship/