Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Roger calls for Government action to protect workers on zero-hours contracts

Roger has signed two Early Day Motions calling on the Government to take action to prevent the exploitation of workers on zero-hours contracts. The motions call on the Government to protect workers’ rights and avoid a race to the bottom on pay and conditions, and encourage employers to invest in a stable, long-term workforce. Roger says: “I am concerned that the increase in zero-hours contracts is having a detrimental effect on working conditions, pushing pay downwards and increasing employment instability. I believe that employees are an asset which businesses should invest in, not just another expense to be cut to the bone to increase shareholder profit.” Roger is worried that long-term, stable jobs are being replaced by zero-hours contracts, with pressure on employees to do the same work in return for poorer pay and less security. Early Day Motion 461 expresses support for workers at Hovis (Premier Foods) in Wigan, who rejected the employment of agency labour on zero-hours contracts after permanent employees were made redundant. Roger believes that this decision by Hovis sets a damaging precedent for the treatment of employees, undermines hard-won pay and conditions, and could lead to the creation of a two-tier workforce. Roger says: “At times when the economy is running below capacity and unemployment is high, it is particularly important to protect workers’ rights and prevent exploitation. My constituents who are on zero-hours contracts have contacted me to tell me that they feel that they have no rights. One told me that he has never been treated as badly as he was on a zero-hours contract, but felt that he had no choice but to accept this treatment as otherwise he would not be offered any more work. This is an exploitative and unacceptable situation for hard-working people to be forced into, and I urge the Government to take action to prevent future abuses.”

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