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Help end precarious contracts


End Precarious Contracts, zero hours, no maternity leave, Frances O'Grady, TUC poll, contact your MPThe government should guarantee basic rights at work for all workers.

Millions of people now work on precarious contracts, which means workers face the constant threat of losing future work, as well as having to make themselves available with no guarantee of hours, and pay.

And employers have the power to withdraw workers’ livelihoods without any accountability.

And, in turn, faced with such an imbalance of power, workers are less able to challenge any abuse.

Precarious contracts are also contracts where the worker can not be certain what work they will get in the future.

They can take many forms.

They can include: zero hour contracts, agency workers, short hour contracts, fixed term / temporary contracts, and bogus forms of self-employment – sometimes employers call these workers ‘independent contractors’.

The government’s own review has failed to tackle the key issue, which is that with precarious contracts, employers hold all the power and the workers hold none, and are unable to claim even the most basic rights at work.

So we must call on our MPs act to make the government guarantee basic rights at work for all workers.

Ask your MP to help ensure all workers have the same rights at work: e.g. maternity and parental, sick pay and trade union rights; guaranteed hours, reasonable notice of shifts and compensation for being on call.

Take action now: ask your MP to act to end precarious contracts.

What about workers who like flexibility?

When flexibility truly works two-ways it can be a good thing – but hese demands ensure that workers get fair compensation for making themselves available for work, effectively being ‘on-call’, and will also ensure that workers can still enjoy the benefits of flexible working, but with more security.

And these contracts have grown most in traditional sectors like care work, hospitality and teaching. They are about exploitation, not about responding to technological development.

A TUC-commissioned poll of workers on zero-hour contracts, published in December 2017, found that:

More than half (51 per cent) of zero-hours workers had had shifts cancelled at less than 24 hours’ notice;

Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) had been offered work at less than 24 hours’ notice;

Only 25 per cent said they preferred being on zero-hours contracts;

Only 1 in 8 (12 per cent) said they get sick pay;

Only 1 in 14 (7 per cent) would get redundancy pay;

Two-fifths (43 per cent) said they don’t get holiday pay;

Half (47 per cent) said they did not get written terms and conditions; and

Just 1 in 20 (5 per cent) said they had the right to a permanent contract after working the same hours consistently.

Commenting on new figures published on 23 April 2018 by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which show that UK firms used 1.8 million zero-hour contacts in 2017 and that 901,000 people have a zero-hour contract as their main employment (final quarter of 2017), the TUC’s General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Most people are not on zero-hour contracts by choice. They want the same rights, security and guaranteed hours as other employees.

“More than half of zero-hour contract workers have had jobs cancelled with less than a day’s notice. Zero-hour contracts are a licence to treat people like disposable labour and the government should ban them.”

The TUC is holding a march and rally on London on 12 May demanding a new deal for working people. For more information click here.

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