Companies using zero-hours contracts could be dealt a blow this month. A government-commissioned inquiry is about to publish its findings -- but under pressure from big businesses, the plans could fall well short of protecting workers from exploitation from bosses.
900,000 people are employed on zero-hours contracts in the UK, which have been used by corporations such as McDonald’s, Sports Direct, and Amazon. Without guaranteed hours every week, workers are unable to secure reliable income, accommodation, and provide for their families.
Pressure from corporations means that the new rules could only give workers the right to request fixed hours -- not the right to actually get them.
Call on inquiry chair Matthew Taylor to recommend that workers are protected from unfair zero-hour contracts with guaranteed hours.
The number of people on zero hours contracts exploded to a record high recently, having increased fourfold in the past 16 years. That means a million people in the UK right now have no idea how much money they’ll be taking home from week to week, because they don’t know what hours they’ll work. Without guaranteed work it makes it impossible to get secure accommodation, build for the future or even get a mobile phone contract.
While zero-hours contracts help some people find flexible work, it’s important that workers can get a fair deal from their employer. That’s why we need to make sure employers must guarantee hours for employees that ask for them.
According to one industry boss, Kate Nicholls, the right to request hours would be “welcome - as long as it remains a request.” Let’s make sure that big business doesn’t get its way to give workers no extra rights at all!
People power works. Many companies are backing down over protests against unfair deals, but they’ll be hoping the outcome of this inquiry will mean they can keep using these hire-and-fire contracts. Unless we make our voices heard now, this inquiry could give corporations a free rein to keep putting profits before people.
Tell Matthew Taylor to recommend that the next UK government guarantees hours for zero-hours workers.
Together, we’ve been able to stand up for workers’ rights before and force big companies to change the way they work. You’ve helped us succeed in getting workers in Walmart and T-Mobile to organise, but we need to raise our voices again to the campaign against zero-hour contracts.