Workers’ rights have declined even further with the much criticised zero-hour contracts. A zero-hour contract is an employment arrangement where an employee has agreed to be available for work as and when required, so that no particular number of hours of times of work are specified. The employee is expected to be on-call and receive compensation only for hours worked. This means employees do not know how much they will earn from one week to the next.
Unlike self-employed workers, employees on these contracts are employed by companies, but receive no sickness or holiday pay.
In the fourth quarter of 2012, 200,000 workers in the United Kingdom reported that they were on zero-hours contacts.In 2011, such contracts were prevalent in many parts of the UK economy:
· in the hotels and restaurants sector, 19% of all workplaces (up from 4% in 2004)
· in the health sector, 13% (up from 7%)
· in the education sector, 10% (up from 1%)
Recently, Mike Ashley, founder of Sports Direct and owner of Newcastle Football Club, has come under fire as 90% of staff is reported to be on zero-hour contracts.
Even Queen Elizabeth has given zero-hour contracts to summer staff. Other culprits are Tate Gallery and Cineworld.
Strangely enough, the boss class and MPs do not have zero-hour contracts. If they did, zero-hour contracts would be made illegal tomorrow.
Lead by example or shut up!
Oh, Father Jack. Urban fantasy with romance.