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News - 25 April 2014

Zero-hours crackdown plan unveiled

Labour Party Leader, Mr Ed Miliband has revealed plans to tackle the "epidemic" of zero-hours contracts. He says that workers with irregular shifts and pay should have rights, including a contract with fixed hours, if they work regularly for the same employer for a year. 

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS comments:

“Zero-hours contracts allow employers to hire staff with no guarantee of work, only paying them for whatever hours they work.”

Mr Miliband said at a meeting in Motherwell:

"The government's own figures say they have increased three-fold since 2010 and some estimates suggest there are one million people on these contracts across the UK including at least 90,000 here in Scotland."

And that Labour is determined to ban the "worst abuses of the system".

Under Labour's plans, workers on zero-hours contracts would:

  • not be obliged to be available outside contracted hours
  • be free to work for other employers
  • have a right to compensation if shifts are cancelled at short notice
  • have "clarity" from their employer about their employment status, terms and conditions
  • have the right to request a contract with a "minimum amount of work" after six months with an employer - this could only be refused if employers could prove their business could not operate any other way
  • have an automatic right to a fixed-hours contract after 12 months with an employer

But James Sproule, chief economist for the Institute of Directors, said "flexibility" in the labour market was helping the economy to recover.

"Zero-hours contracts are one small part of a much broader flexible labour market", he said.

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said zero-hours contracts could offer "welcome flexibility" and the government would not "ban them outright", but there had been "evidence of abuse".

And Business Minister Matthew Hancock said: "We want to strike the right balance between flexibility for the businesses who create jobs and making sure there's adequate protection for employees. That's why we are carrying out a review into zero hours contracts."

If you need any help and advice with your PAYE, RTI or CIS, or looking to outsource your Payroll Department, contact ABDS NOW to discuss how we can help.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.

Tel: 023 8083 6900 E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

 

Brilliant with numbers  

Great with people  

Clear and precise with advice

Timely and cost effective

In touch with issues that face our clients

Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals

 

Helping Your Business is Our Business

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