‘Labour will outlaw abusive use of zero-hour contracts’


11:51 am - September 9th 2013

by Newswire    


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Ed Miliband will tomorrow (Tuesday) declare that a One Nation Labour government will outlaw the exploitative use of zero hour contracts that make life a misery for thousands of families.

In a speech to the TUC in Bournemouth, he will return to his theme of building an economy which works for working people, saying a recovery which benefits only a few at the top is not only unfair but also unstable.

Mr Miliband will set out some of the big reforms Labour will make to create an economy which works for working people including measures to get young people back to work, improve vocational education and create more apprenticeships.

Although the flexibility of zero hours contracts can benefit both employers and employees in some circumstances, the increasing use of such contracts has left too many families insecure, and exposed others to the risk of exploitation.

Some employees are forced to be available whenever the employer requires them, even if there is no work. Others are required to work exclusively for one employer, and yet have no guarantee that they will get adequate amounts of work in return. Still more are on zero hours contracts even though in practice they work regular hours.

Mr Miliband will say that a Labour government will outlaw the exploitative use of zero hours contracts.

He will propose three specific measures:

· Banning employers from insisting zero-hours workers be available even when there is no guarantee of any work.

· Stopping zero hours contracts that require workers to work exclusively for one business.

· Ending the misuse of zero hours contracts where employees are in practice working regular hours over a sustained period

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Reader comments


The countdown starts for the consultation with business to dilute and destroy this plan.

He’s got to be elected first. Lets hope the sillybuggery with the unions passes quickly and the infighting stops. Australia has shown us the consequences of such behaviour!

3. Paul Peter Smith

I share Rentergirl’s cynicism on this, I’m expecting a New Labour style ‘cant stifle business’ hatchet job in consultation. But you never know, Ed may surprise us and act like a Labour leader, we haven’t had one in a while.

Before going out on a limb, it would be instructive to learn of the extent of zero-hour contracts or their equivalents in other peer-group countries in western Europe and in north America.

I totally agree with the first two measures.

Don’t see why the third measure is required.If the employee is getting regular work then what is the problem – effectively they are a temp.

In such a circumstance you would think it would be in the employers interest to put the worker on a formal temp contract.

6. Paul Peter Smith

@5 Fungus
The problem with the last point comes when employers know full well they can provide permanent employment but choose to employ zero hours contracts to circumvent the inconvenient parts of employment law, like sick pay, holidays and unfair dismissal. you don’t need to sack someone on a zero hours contract, you just don’t call them anymore.

you don’t need to sack someone on a zero hours contract, you just don’t call them anymore.

I had a flatmate that this happened to. It was not at all pretty. I would be willing to bet there is not a single proponent of zero-hour contracts who has had either themselves, family or friends experience the consequences of what zero-hours ultimately means in a zero-hours contract.

PPS @ 6:

Like Fungus @ 5, the first two points seem quite acceptable to me. The third is not: it is far too vague.

Think of the student who perhaps works 8 hours a month most of the year, but works 40 hours a week for 6 weeks over the summer before returning to his usual average hours when term starts. Or the zero-hours staff member who is called to work fulltime for an indefinite period to cover major sick leave. These are both examples of “employees…in practice working regular hours over a sustained period”. Of course, you could end the student’s zero-hours contract and give him a temporary contract, and then another zero-hours contract when the temporary contract ends, but that creates more paperwork for the employer and reduces the student’s freedom of manoeuvre. The length of sick leave for a major illness is often unpredictable. If you give someone a temporary contract, you may end up paying two wages if the sick person returns earlier than expected.

“zero hours contract…circumvent the inconvenient parts of employment law, like sick pay, holidays and unfair dismissal.”

You are wrong about annual leave:
http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4469

“you don’t need to sack someone on a zero hours contract, you just don’t call them anymore.”

True; but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it saves a lot of hassle for all concerned. The employee can take the hint and look elsewhere, while not having to state that they were sacked when applying for another job.

I am moving to a zero-hours contract in November, and I am looking forward to it.

I am afraid these measures, like Milliband, are a complete waste of time. Any half decent HR manager will easily circumvent these rather modest proposals. Now that we have got three major parties all effectively looking for donations from a few rich ‘patrons’ rather than mass membership fees, big business and the owners of capital have a triple lock on anything that may benefit anyone other than the very rich. In fact, these so called regulations are designed not to scare the horses. If you were really doing any good, then expect the CBI, the Taxpayers alliance and the Tories to squeal like stuck pigs, if you getting near the nerve.

Milliband and his chattering class cronies now have no link to the lives of millions of ordinary working people. He is now part of a smallish elite of people who float above about three to five million people who he will never come into any meaningful contact with. Don’t get me wrong, I do not doubt New Labour’s sincerity, I believe he is genuine in his desire to help those on the lowest incomes. However, the fact that he will announce, while attempting to keep a straight face, this nonsense just shows how out of touch Labour really is.

Lets us start of one thing here. We are not talking about software engineers, architects and the like here. Nor are we talking about people earning pin money outside their main job like event stewards PR or even strippers or whatever. We are talking about cleaners, shop workers or catering staff who rely on these jobs as their only source of income. These people are voiceless and powerless. Does anyone really think these type of people will have access to take an employer to task over a breach of these ‘regulations’? If you have no legal redress then what is the point?

Imagine, if you will, a newly redundant worker, faced with either ‘workfare’ or a zero hour cleaning job and turns up at the interview and is told:

‘We are obliged by law not to discriminate against you if you fail to turn up when we phone you, but I can tell you that the person we phone who does turn up normally gets more phone calls’

‘Oh and by the way, although you are at liberty to work for anyone else you choose, if we think you are not totally loyal to us, we will stop phoning you’

Were does she go from there? Without access to law or a tribunal, unless she has a grand sitting in a bank account, if they are the only game in town, what real options does she have.

New Labour’s problem is they are attempting to tinker around the edges of any issue those conflicts with the wealthy. The rich have the cheque book and labour are willing to lap dance for the highest bidder. They are forced to go around forelock tugging at anyone in a pinstriped suit and a corporate business card and are unable to look at the bigger picture.

The zero hour contract is a symptom of the power swing any from the workforce over the last thirty years, not the underlying cause. If you want to curtail the exploitation of the zero hour contract, change the power balance.

This looks pretty good to me. I’m on a zero-hours contract myself, and it works well for me. These reforms would prevent the more exploitative side of ZHC while allowing people like me to work.

11. Paul peter Smith

@8 Tone
I dont disagree with your examples, there is a place for zero hours contracts where both parties benefit. But how about someone who works 40+ hours a week, every week for more than a year? This is standard for several companies I have had personal experience of. The companies in question are not fly by night operations and prior to zero hours becoming trendy had about 80% of their PERMANENT staff from agency’s, some for 14 years. But Jim’s right, most HR departments will have found ways to circumvent this would be legislation before the ink is dry. Thats pretty much what happened when agency workers had their rights and conditions improved, roughly the same time as zero hours contracts started to become an issue. Hmm, wonder if there’s a connection?

8.

it saves a lot of hassle for all concerned. The employee can take the hint and look elsewhere, while not having to state that they were sacked when applying for another job.

Another shit-plated excuse.

Zero hour contracts are handy for the sick the disabled and single mothers and for people who want them, so banning the lot will do more harm then good, but I agree that companies having a whole workforce on these is totally wrong.

Sports direct has been using these zero hour contract as one young lad said to me he works a 40 hour week, and had done so for a year, he does not get holiday pay or time off, he cannot have redundancy and he can be sacked on the spot.

But labour actually decided to do nothing about this, but now think it will make Miliband look like he cares.

What labour has to do is explain to use what it is now, because I knew what New labour was, it was Tory Lite, but I need to know what this Newer labour party is.

14. Robin Levett

@TONE #8:

Think of the student who perhaps works 8 hours a month most of the year, but works 40 hours a week for 6 weeks over the summer before returning to his usual average hours when term starts. Or the zero-hours staff member who is called to work fulltime for an indefinite period to cover major sick leave. These are both examples of “employees…in practice working regular hours over a sustained period”

No, they’re not.

Whilst I sympathise with the aims of the three proposed measures, I am unconvinced that they will work for *all* employees and workers. But they are sufficient as a starting point for debate.

The debate needs to be wider, however. It needs to encompass other employment scenarios in which workers feel vulnerable. I’m thinking of short term contracts, renewed every year for years on end, which disallow people “in a steady job” from getting mortgages or impose limits to career progression.

If I am aware of one scenario, I presume that there are others.

PPS @ 11:

“But how about someone who works 40+ hours a week, every week for more than a year?” I agree that is unacceptable; but the trade unions would like to see ZHC’s in effect banned, so they will lobby for the “sustained period” to be as short as possible.

“most HR departments will have found ways to circumvent this would be legislation before the ink is dry.”

Most HR people are not very bright – that’s why they are in HR. And senior management would insist that they’d have to get Counsel’s opinion before making a move. All of which takes time and costs.

RL @ 14: It certainly could be, because the trade unions would like to see ZHC’s in effect banned, so they will lobby for the “sustained period” to be as short as possible, and Millipede would probably capitulate.

The bottom line is no one is forcing you to take a zhc. If you want something more secure than look for other opportunities. In the meantime take the zhc if there are no other options.

13.

Zero hour contracts are handy for the sick the disabled and single mothers and for people who want them

Cut out the first three* and leave ZHCs for people who want them.
*Daily Mail Bingo
16. et al. HR departments do not make the decisions regarding work contracts, CEOs and lawyers do.

16. TONE: “Most HR people are not very bright – that’s why they are in HR.”

That is an unpleasant statement.

Numerically, most HR employees are clerical staff who keep the gears turning, updating worker records.

I’d go along with the general proposition that HR managers are not bright. Belief in managerialism reduces the capacity to create a funky organisation.

charlieman @ 19:

I meant HR managers. I was thinking of the adage that you should never work for or invest in an organisation where the head of HR sits on the senior management team. Clerical staff in HR are no dimmer or brighter than any other clerical staff, as far as I can see.

@TONE #16:

It certainly could be, because the trade unions would like to see ZHC’s in effect banned, so they will lobby for the “sustained period” to be as short as possible, and Millipede would probably capitulate

The government *could* legislate to define the moon as made of green cheese; but let’s stay in the real world. On the current state of the law, in my view the two examples you produce would not be “working regular hours over a sustained period”. Indeed, I can’t see that the student example would need to be a ZHC anyway.

@Fungus #17:

The bottom line is no one is forcing you to take a zhc.

Of course not, You just need to go next door and get a job from the next employer along – there are so many jobs around, and employers are so short of employees, that every potential employee has his/her pick of jobs and contractual terms…

@treborc #13:

Zero hour contracts are handy for the sick the disabled and single mothers

No more handy than temping – but a lot more handy for the employers of course.

As helpful information I would like to point out that Lord Freud has confirmed that JSA claimants are not required to apply for zero-hour contract vacancies.
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldhansrd/text/130425w0001.htm#13042559000586

Whether this fact is well known by JSA staff who can hand out sanctions on the other hand, is unknown…

25. Paul peter Smith

@Tone
Would it move the conversation on if I altered my original comment to ‘ HR departments will implement the instructions they have been given to circumvent this would be legislation before the ink is dry’. Yes a lawyer will do the thinking.
HR are just the messengers and you cant treat them like Politicians and assume none are fit for purpose, that would be discriminatory.

25.

HR are just the messengers

Suggest: Replace with ‘HR are the facilitators’ and remove

, that would be discriminatory

RL @ 21:
But we are not talking about the current state of the law. We are talking about possible legislation, and a possible Labour manifesto commitment, to make ZHC’s less ‘exploitative’. If you imagine the trade unions will accept a definition of a “sustained period” in ZHC’s as broadly consistent with existing legislation, then you are the one who is not being realistic.

@ 22 & 23:
There is a trade-off between employee rights and job security, on the one hand, and the number of employment opportunities, on the other. More employee rights benefits those fortunate enough to be in work but unfortunately means fewer jobs overall, because regulation pushes up the cost of creating a job, and so disadvantages job-seekers. Which is not an argument for scrapping all employee rights, but an argument for getting the balance right. Full-blooded socialist employment regulation kills the goose that lays the golden eggs; but a small reduction in her fertility is acceptable to prevent exploitation.

@22 Robin Levett

That is the whole point. In the current environment employers have the upper hand. Although in the down turn things aren’t neccessarily easy for businesses either – hence the big advantage for them in being able to hire employees under ZHC. They may not be able to afford to employ staff on temporary or permanent contracts if they know they have to pay them even though there is no work to do.

If the economy picks up employers will be fighting for good workers and will want to lock them in as much as they can.

@24 Cylux

That is unfortunate. Surely if you are claiming JSA you should be required to take any job that is offered to you. There is nothing stopping you looking for alternative employment. In fact I think this policy is disgraceful.

@Fungus #28:

That is the whole point. In the current environment employers have the upper hand.

Indeed, I’m not sure though why you say this in defence of a claim that “no-one is forcing you to take a zhc”. Employers are doing precisely that.

30. Robin Levett

@TONE #27:

If your original claim had been:

Think of the student who perhaps works 8 hours a month most of the year, but works 40 hours a week for 6 weeks over the summer before returning to his usual average hours when term starts. Or the zero-hours staff member who is called to work fulltime for an indefinite period to cover major sick leave. These would both be examples of “employees…in practice working regular hours over a sustained period” if an incoming Labour Government legislated that this pattern of work was deemned to be working regular hours over a sustained period

I would not have disagreed. But that is hardly a controversial claim. What you said was that :

These are both examples of “employees…in practice working regular hours over a sustained period”.

With which I disagree.

I would add that for your fears to be realised, the legislation would have to be very specific about what pattern of work constituted “regular hours over a sustained period”. Perhaps you could give a draft definition covering both situations?

That is unfortunate. Surely if you are claiming JSA you should be required to take any job that is offered to you. There is nothing stopping you looking for alternative employment. In fact I think this policy is disgraceful.

It’s because of the way the benefit system (mal)functions – the system cannot cope with multiple changes in hours, and the person could be fine one week and screwed the next.

32. Robin Levett

@Fungus #28:

Surely if you are claiming JSA you should be required to take any job that is offered to you.

Define “job”.

There is nothing stopping you looking for alternative employment.

Really? Then why do you think that one of Labour’s proposed measures is “Stopping zero hours contracts that require workers to work exclusively for one business”?

RL @ 30:

You are nit-picking. The trade unions campaigning against ZHC’s are determined to make them unworkable, and I suspect they will lobby hard to ensure the pattern of work constituting “regular hours over a sustained period” in a ZHC is as broad as possible. If you think that would be a bad idea, say so; and perhaps tell us what would be a reasonable limit before an employer would have to give an employee on a ZHC a different type of contract.

@ 29: You are equivocating. Having the upper hand in a market negotiation is not the same as being in a position to force or coerce someone to accept your terms.

@ 32: “Stopping zero hours contracts that require workers to work exclusively for one business”. The law probably does need to be tightened up here, but ACAS already makes it clear that:
“The term ‘zero hours’ is not defined in legislation, but is generally understood to be a employment contract between an employer and a worker, which means the employer is not obliged to provide the worker with any minimum working hours, and the worker is not obliged to accept any of the hours offered.”
http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4468

@20. TONE:
“I meant HR managers.”

Fair enough, TONE

“I was thinking of the adage that you should never work for or invest in an organisation where the head of HR sits on the senior management team.”

That’s a good adage. If the senior management team require a specific member to tell them how an organisation works, it is a broken organisation.

@32. Robin Levett pursuing @Fungus #28:

“Define ‘job’.”

‘Job’ in the case of JSA applicants means whatever the powerful people determine it to be. ‘Job’ is a malleable definition.

Wibbling about the definition of ‘job’ is really important. It makes us think about other employment inequalities.

@32 RL

“Really? Then why do you think that one of Labour’s proposed measures is “Stopping zero hours contracts that require workers to work exclusively for one business”?”

Off course there is nothing stopping a worker looking for another job! Is this difficult to understand? Whether you are in permanent employment, temporary work or an a ZHC there is nothing an employer can do legally! Slavery is still illegal.

Definition of job – legal work that you can reasonably do. If you are collecting JSA you should do any work you are offered that is within reasonabe commuting distance. It might not be your ideal job, but you can continue to look for your ideal job – many people do this you know. They have pride in themselves.

If you are collecting JSA you should do any work you are offered that is within reasonabe commuting distance.

That does not necessarily mean that you should accept any old contract however. A zero-hour contract carries with it the potential to provide zero-hours worth of work.

@TONE #33:

The first point is that the proposed legislation would likely prohibit clauses in an employment contract that had the effect of requiring an employee on a zhc not to work for anyone else, or requiring availability without a guarantee of work. So far as “regular pattern” is concerned, it would simply say that any employment contract “where employees are in practice working regular hours over a sustained period” (however defined) is to be treated as a contract for the hours so worked.

You are nit-picking. The trade unions campaigning against ZHC’s are determined to make them unworkable, and I suspect they will lobby hard to ensure the pattern of work constituting “regular hours over a sustained period” in a ZHC is as broad as possible. If you think that would be a bad idea, say so; and perhaps tell us what would be a reasonable limit before an employer would have to give an employee on a ZHC a different type of contract.

Please would you actually think about how you would write a piece of legislation that would define “regular hours over a sustained period”. Please also consider that any contract that operated in practice such that employees workes such a pattern would likely simply be deemed not to be a zhc – so the other provisions outlawed for zhcs would be perfectly acceptable in it.

You are equivocating. Having the upper hand in a market negotiation is not the same as being in a position to force or coerce someone to accept your terms.

It is when the alternative is no benefits and no job.

“Stopping zero hours contracts that require workers to work exclusively for one business”. The law probably does need to be tightened up here, but ACAS already makes it clear that:
“The term ‘zero hours’ is not defined in legislation, but is generally understood to be a employment contract between an employer and a worker, which means the employer is not obliged to provide the worker with any minimum working hours, and the worker is not obliged to accept any of the hours offered.”

That might be the general understanding, but that understanding gives way to express contractual terms.

@Fungus #36:

Definition of job – legal work that you can reasonably do

So you’d agree that a zhc isn’t a job – since it does not oblige the “employer” to give the employee any legal work that the employee can reasonably do.

@37 & 39

I can understand the benefits system may have some difficulty in dealing with the situation where a JSA claimant earns a variable amount of income each week.

However I think it is terrible if a JSA claimant felt they could not risk taking on a ZHC because of the way the benefits system works. The benefits system should be designed to encourage people to work.

In this technological age it must be possible for the system to be configured to allow for variable income.

The principal should always be that if you are offered paid work you should do it or lose your JSA.

40.
Issue a credit card at birth.
All purchases for clothes, cot, baby food, pushchair, education and so on marked as debits.
Pay from employment marked as credits.
‘Jennifer Government’ by Max Barry.
‘Scheme for Full Employment’ by Magnus Mills. (See also, Mills’ book about agricultural fencing when erected by dolts – ‘The Restraint of Beasts’ for those interested in the Labour Party and rural areas article)

Fungus,

However I think it is terrible if a JSA claimant felt they could not risk taking on a ZHC because of the way the benefits system works. The benefits system should be designed to encourage people to work.

But it isn’t designed that way. Look at what Mirrlees says:

“Despite improvements for some groups in recent years, the current system of income taxes and welfare benefits creates serious disincentives to work for many with relatively low potential earning power. The benefit system in particular is far too complex.”

We can average the hours over a period to get the best idea of ‘normal working hours’ per week for the purposes of JSA (no more than 16 hours) or WTC (16-30 hours), but significant variations alternate people in and out of benefits and can even generate overpayments (which of course must be paid back). The lag in receiving a benefit payment for a period of no income could be several weeks. Cash flow is vital for people at this level of income.

Apparently Universal Credit will help but we know how that’s going don’t we.

We should just give each citizen a guaranteed payment – citizen’s basic income – whether or not they’re in work.

Fungus @ 40

However I think it is terrible if a JSA claimant felt they could not risk taking on a ZHC because of the way the benefits system works. The benefits system should be designed to encourage people to work.

Yeah, except that the Tories have been actively moving the other way. The recent announcement that people would have to wait a week before claiming JSA after losing your job is a policy DESIGNED to punish people and drive them into the hands of Wonga, thus ensuring both fat profits and the continued supply of party funding for the vermin. This is especially true of these types of short term, irregular work, that crops up.

The other herd of elephants in the room for the ZHC employees is the tax system. All of the main party leaders focus on income tax, Cameron and Clegg are millionaires themselves and are funded by millionaires, and so their motivation is pretty transparent. Milliband and his New Labour wonks are merely halfwits, so are too stupid to understand the reality. To an extent we can excuse New Labour because they are not really acting out of malice, they are merely fuckwits who would act differently if someone had the patience to drive the knowledge into their thick skulls.

If you have a small and irregular income then being taxed on that income via PAYE is not so big a deal. If one week or month you earn very little, the income tax system will pretty much leave you alone. If you have a month when you earn a lot and that is unusual you pay a lot more tax, but, you will receive a handy rebate at the end of the tax year. PAYE is designed to look after the poor.

Council tax on the other hand is a flat fee that takes no account of how much you earn. So that month when you earn hardly anything is considered the same when you were packing in twelve hour shifts. A council tax bill of say, twelve hundred quid a year will mean you pay a hundred quid a month, irrespective of your income, which could leave you with a tax bill of a 100% ()or even more) in a lean month. Of course this is where wonga really earn their corn. Just as a matter of interest, do Wonga or their owners donate to any Particular Party? A Party that has an interest in driving people into poverty perhaps?

So, the next a political nerd talks about ‘taking the poor out of tax’ ask him about council tax.

In this technological age it must be possible for the system to be configured to allow for variable income.

If you’re willing to spend even more billions of taxpayer’s cash on administration and data acquisition, sure.

45. Robin Levett

@Fungus #40:

The principal should always be that if you are offered paid work you should do it or lose your JSA.

But a zhc is not an offer of paid work.

So he speak at the TUC conference and now he has found his voice, but he did not say this did he until the next day when of all people Byrne came out saying we will do something about it, here comes the crunch he stated it would affect the vulnerable the sick the disabled.

Byrne worried about the sick and the disabled, yea my backside Miliband thinks the public are feeling sorry for the poor so socialism is coming back into Tory Lite.

Labour gets back in this would be dropped like a stone.

@7. Cylux

Me. I was on one for several years and the simple fact is that I would not be where I am today had I not been able to be employed on a zero-hours contract.

The criticism of zero hours contracts is so short sighted and incompetent that it beggars belief. You outlaw zero hours contracts and you watch those who have managed to get their foot in the door with some type of employment, suddenly find themselves unemployed.

@47 Freeman.
From the article:

the flexibility of zero hours contracts can benefit both employers and employees in some circumstances

‘I didn’t get where I am today …’ CJ in the Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.
Grot, Mr Freeman, Grot.

@Freeman – So you found yourself on the receiving end of being given zero hours till you got the hint and handed in your notice then? In the position of still being on an employers books, thus unable to claim jobseekers, but also out of work with no source of income?

50. Psychological Mind Games

Whilst Ed is dealing with this unfair issue he should also address this Barbaric issue :

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/12/bedroom-tax-reaction-united-nations

Freeman,

The criticism of zero hours contracts is so short sighted and incompetent that it beggars belief. You outlaw zero hours contracts and you watch those who have managed to get their foot in the door with some type of employment, suddenly find themselves unemployed.

Some people aren’t calling for them to be outlawed, just for exploitative things to be outlawed (if possible), such as exclusivity clauses, and for employers to stop taking the piss (e.g. give workers zero hours instead of letting them go). Also, for the tax and benefit system to be sorted out.

Just because you were alright and you’re alright now, it doesn’t mean there are no problems.

@Freeman #47:

Me. I was on one for several years and the simple fact is that I would not be where I am today had I not been able to be employed on a zero-hours contract.

The criticism of zero hours contracts is so short sighted and incompetent that it beggars belief.

You worked, you have previously claimed, as a freelance, which is not a “zero hours contract”. You were not on a contract where:

– you were required to be available even when there is no guarantee of any work
– you were required to work exclusively for one business
– you were in practice working regular hours over a sustained period

So what is your (short-sighted and incompetent) problem with those abuses being dealt with?

i have just worked my nuts for the last 3 months.
lead to believe, permanent contract at the end.
today ive been told no work monday, ive been abused.
by management. i will have to go back sign on, claim housing benefit, all takes 2 weeks to process. open to lots of abuse by employers. what do they care.

54. Psychological Mind Games

A bit of the subject but another BARBARIC situation Ed should address is local authorities closing down children’s homes and sending the poor, vulnerable children of to privately run children’s homes that are only there for profit and not the children. This is an example of what I mean as this is happening TODAY to vulnerable ADULTS :

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/sep/14/detainees-yarls-wood-sexual-abuse?guni=Keyword:news-grid%20main-1%20Main%20trailblock:Editable%20trailblock%20-%20news:Position1

WHAT CHANCE DO VULNERABLE CHILDREN HAVE IF THIS IS HAPPENING TODAY TO VULNERABLE ADULTS IN SECURE CENTRES FOR ADULTS.

It is like a lamb to the slaughter.

@48. Greta

Citing some TV drivel still doesn’t get rid of the fact that the work I did gave me the experience I needed to move on to better work. I suppose you think it better just to sit on your backside and commentate from your armchair that people with no work experience should be given full time employment at 15 an hour…meanwhile in the real world.

@52. Robin Levett

That is exactly what my situation was. Not all freelance contracts are the same. There are many different types of freelance and zero hours contracts many of which stray a long way into each others territories.

@53
How have you been abused?

You mean you wouldn’t have worked so hard if you knew there wouldn’t be a permanent contract at the end or you wouldn’t have taken the work at all? I don’t get it – you had paid work for three months which you signed up for.

@Freeman
I pointed out that the article does state some zero hours contracts are beneficial to both employees and employers so, your criticism falls.
Also, it has been made clear that you did not have a zero hours contract and were, in fact, working freelance.

@Rentergirl “The countdown starts for the consultation with business to dilute and destroy this plan.” Agree with that.

@57. Greta

You clearly didn’t read what I had written. There are not just freelance and zero hours. There are many different type of arrangements that use elements of both. In my situation I was bound to one employer, I was not guaranteed a certain number of hours, I was not paid for the periods I didn’t have work. The only reason I was defined freelance is that I was also responsible for my own tax return. So I repeat what I said earlier, although it was very tough work and it was also very tough to make ends meet, that job was responsible for giving me the experience to move on, and it was that experience that finally got me to where I am.

The only reason I was defined freelance is that I was also responsible for my own tax return.

In other words, you were self-employed. Please read the article again and note that you did not fit the definition of someone on an exploitative zero hours contract.

@60. Greta

You really aren’t getting it. The fact that I was technically self employed did not change the fact I was not able to work for another company, that I was not guaranteed work, or that I was not guaranteed in any way an income. You think because it has a different name that it is somehow different even though materially it is identical. Again, “freelance” covers literally hundreds of different types of arrangements. Mine was materially indistinguishable from a zero-hours contract. In fact it just had the added burden of having to do my own tax return.

I and several other people I know would not have been able to gain the experience we did had zero-hours been banned. You seem to think it sounds good, but you don’t consider the impact it will have on retirees wanting flexible work, parents with childcare obligations, teenagers and the young workers who don’t yet have experience. The alternative is that they don’t have jobs and instead go on the dole. Zero hours are not abusive. They are a choice that people are free to turn down as I was.

No Freeman it is you who is not getting it. There have been (A) exploitative zero hours contracts and practices and there have been (B) non-exploitative zero hours contracts and practices. People are saying get rid of (A) not (B).

As an aside, that you were fine on a non-exploitative contract that wasn’t a zero hours contract seems irrelevant.

@62. ukliberty

SO who decides it was exploitative? Mine would have been defined as exploitative. The government cannot possibly hope to have all the knowledge necessary to legislate all the relevant provisions. So quite apart from this ending abusive practices, it is likely to increase unemployment needlessly.

Lefties never seem to learn that just because you legislate against something does not necessarily fix it. They seem incapable of assessing the unintended consequences.

So if you are able to answer this simple question. “How does the government legislate against all the ‘abusive’ contracts, while leaving the ‘non-abusive’ types intact and the people gainfully employed?”

Remembering when answering that there are over 100 different types of freelance type contracts (I include zero-hours in that).


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