Ban zero-hours contracts that exploit workers, says TUC

Ban zero-hours contracts that exploit workers, says TUC
People on zero-hour contracts are more than twice as likely to work night shifts, and are paid a third less an hour than other workers, the TUC says.

After polling 3,287 workers - 300 of them zero-hour staff - it concluded the "exploitative" system should be banned.

It says the flexibility such contracts offer are only "good for employers".

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.

TUC general secretary Frances O Grady said "the vast majority" of people on zero-hours contracts "want out".

"Zero-hours workers regularly work through the night for low pay, putting their health at risk. And many face the constant uncertainty of not knowing when their next shift will come," she added.

The TUC s research is likely to reignite the debate over zero-hour contracts.

While the casual employment contracts don t oblige employers to provide a minimum number of working hours, they don t oblige employees to accept any of the hours offered by their employer either.

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.
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