Zero Hour Contracts

As part of his latest re-launch the Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has spoken out against zero hour contracts. My view is that, properly used, such contracts can play an important role in a dynamic economy. I don’t recall Mr Miliband condemning Labour run Bury Council who clearly thought these contracts were useful as the reply to a Freedom of Information Request revealed the Council employed 3,418 people on such contracts in 2013.
Although this is being billed as a ‘new’ announcement back on 25th April on the Politics Home website the Labour Leader wrote:
‘We’re going to end the exploitation of zero hour contracts and say very clearly, by law, if you’ve worked for 12 months doing regular hours you should be entitled to a clear right to a regular contract, not a zero hours contract.’

For many people such as students, the self-employed and older workers zero hours contracts provide the flexibility they need. They suit both employer and employee. The Government is legislating to prevent employers from incorporating ‘exclusivity’ clauses in these contracts as the effect of such clauses is to stop employees from having other employment. Zero hour contracts are not new and the Office for National Statistics estimate that even as far back as the year 2000 there were 225,000 such contracts and the Labour Government did not nothing to legislate about them then.

Published by David Nuttall

Business and Political Consultant

5 thoughts on “Zero Hour Contracts

  1. Probably also worth pointing out that Bury Council employ people on multiple ZHCs as a means of allowing these workers to get hours in *where convenient and possible*, whereas in the cases where ZHCs are abused (and ignored by Mr. Nuttall) the issue is exclusive ZHCs with no mitigation. In effect, indentured labour – a fact that David would like you to forget as he indulges in a bit of “oh! look over there! a squirrel!!” massaging of the truth.

    Bury Council doesn’t abuse ZHCs; David Nuttall apparently ignores commercial employers who do.

    Any bon mots about WCA and TTIP for us? Perhaps the abuse of the disabled trying to claim ESA might bring forth a comment? What about the fact that the Tories have borrowed more in 4 years than the previous government did in 13 years? Anything to say about that? About GDP? About NHS A&E departments *already* advising ill people to stay away – when it’s not even winter? A comment on the £60,000,000 shortfall for Bury’s NHS services, caused by your government? Perhaps you might finally comment on the pledge that you made to keep Fairfield’s maternity unit open before you got elected. That, I think, shows your commitment to the people who live in Bury, along with your refusal to get Eric Pickles to stop giving Bury a raw deal.

    Or perhaps you’ll duck out with an asinine comment that evades all of these things – yet again.

    1. Hi,

      As I mentioned in the post the Government are legislating to stop exclusive zero hour contracts. I am not convinced the problem is as big as many people may think. No one has ever complained to me about being restricted from working because of an exclusive zero hours contract but I do think they should be outlawed.


      1. If you’d care to reply on the rest of my post, I’ll be happy to discuss it online. At the very least you should acknowledge that Bury Council *do not* abuse ZHCs but employ them as a means to enable workers to get it more hours and more pay without in any way threatening or jeopardising their other working arrangements and contracts.


  2. Interesting. Always believed that the definition of the word ‘contract’ was – the negotiation (and agreement) of business terms between parties. Something you’d know a lot about. Can see it from both sides – as an employer if I have a soul that’s a bit sloppy on timekeeping, sicker than the rest common sense says use them less. Equally a person who is diligent etc., I might exploit to fill in all the gaps the lazy soul leaves. In other words ‘the willing horse’ gets all the bad shifts perhaps – moreover neither of the people can show any regular income – getting a loan for whatever reason is awkward. One things for sure messing about with it (the so called zero hours contract) has an affect

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