Thursday, 19 December 2013

Vince hints at end to exclusive zero hours contracts

Good news from Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable who has said that he is minded to ban the use of exclusive zero hours contracts. These are the deals which give control to employers and can mean huge uncertainty for workers.

The concept of a zero hours contract isn't automatically bad. It means, in effect, that a staff member is guaranteed work when some is available but the employer does not have to pay them when there is nothing to do.

But the employee still needs to earn a wage and so they should be free to take work from elsewhere if that is offered rather than being tied to one employer only. Vince's announcement today suggests that the government will ban this exclusivity.

Cornwall Council moved in the autumn to review zero hours contracts to ensure that they are always in the mutual interests of both the council and the staff member concerned.

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