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Zero-Hours Contracts Cover More Than 1M Uk Workers

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http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/05/zero-hours-contracts-cover-1m-uk-workers

More than 1 million British workers could be employed on zero-hours contracts, new figures released on Monday reveal, suggesting that British business is deploying the controversial employment terms far more widely than previously thought.

The figure – derived from a poll of more than 1,000 employers conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) – prompted renewed calls for the government to launch a full inquiry into the use of the contracts, after a week in which a string of organisations – from retail chains to Buckingham Palace – have faced criticism for hiring staff but offering no guarantee of work and pay each week. Employees on zero-hours contracts often get no holiday or sick pay and have to ask permission before seeking additional work elsewhere.

The CIPD found that 38% of zero-hours contract workers describe themselves as employed full-time, typically working 30 hours or more a week. One third of voluntary sector employers use the contracts, and one in four public sector organisations.

The latest numbers also call into question the accuracy of official data on the topic. Last week, the Office for National Statistics increased its estimate of the number of UK zero-hours workers by 25%, to around 250,000.

So are official stats 4x out? So if 1 in 4 are public sector workers the ONS can't even collect stats from it's own govt...

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They had a debate about this on sky news this morning. Young woman who worked in sports direct against the woman who won the apprentice a few years back.

Apprentice woman was the most arrogant childish panelist I have seen for a while. Was rolling her eyes and making faces while the young woman made her case.

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'They' want a completely casualised, no-rights, insecure, hire-and-fire workforce.

Ideally with large mortgage debts for extra fear.

And the scary thing is that 'they' don't care about the wider economic consequences, because if you are sufficiently wealthy then it doesn't matter if the economy is growing or shrinking, but it does matter that the proles are 'respectful' and understand the consequences of being 'uppity'.

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On the face of it, just in time labour makes sense for everyone. There's no point in having people standing around being wasting their time or clogging up the transportation systems at peak times when they could be doing more life affirming stuff instead.

But it's deeply unfair when people are stuck on contracts that don't allow them to work elsewhere, don't get a minimum number of hours and aren't being paid to remain available in a high cost economy.

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'They' want a completely casualised, no-rights, insecure, hire-and-fire workforce.

Ideally with large mortgage debts for extra fear.

And the scary thing is that 'they' don't care about the wider economic consequences, because if you are sufficiently wealthy then it doesn't matter if the economy is growing or shrinking, but it does matter that the proles are 'respectful' and understand the consequences of being 'uppity'.

and they don't want anyone in the middle ranks holding surplus cash since if you have to buy on credit you don't care about the affordability of the price, all that matters is the monthly payment and not even the term, and so we can all continue to grow happily ever after - or until the next election.

Edited by LiveinHope

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'They' want a completely casualised, no-rights, insecure, hire-and-fire workforce.

Ideally with large mortgage debts for extra fear.

And the scary thing is that 'they' don't care about the wider economic consequences, because if you are sufficiently wealthy then it doesn't matter if the economy is growing or shrinking, but it does matter that the proles are 'respectful' and understand the consequences of being 'uppity'.

Well you can't even rent either can you in the private sector?

And self employed people are already distrusted by letting agents, usually needing to pay rent in advance.

Let the "powers that be" cut their own throats.

I'd like to be able to pay my rent and bills on a casual basis.

Edited by aSecureTenant

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On the face of it, just in time labour makes sense for everyone. There's no point in having people standing around being wasting their time or clogging up the transportation systems at peak times when they could be doing more life affirming stuff instead.

But it's deeply unfair when people are stuck on contracts that don't allow them to work elsewhere, don't get a minimum number of hours and aren't being paid to remain available in a high cost economy.

This is the argument. If something like Zero Hours is to work and to get the buy in, the flexibility must go both ways.

But this means workers having a choice, and we can't have that in a (supposedly) 'free' market economy....

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This is the argument. If something like Zero Hours is to work and to get the buy in, the flexibility must go both ways.

But this means workers having a choice, and we can't have that in a (supposedly) 'free' market economy....

Agreed. If zero hours contracts are here to stay then workers should be able to freely sign as many as they wish, and be able pick and choose between employers and the hours they offer, when they offer them.

Moreover their should be no prejudice (enforceable in a court of law) against workers who decline hours, i.e. they will not be offered less hours because they previously declined work.

Either that or while they are on standby (which is exactly how it works right now) they should be paid some percentage of their base wage. I'd say 35% of their hourly wage for every hour on standby would be reasonable re compensation for the exclusivity clause implicit in zero hours contracts.

Edited by alexw

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Calling Eric for consultancy. :)

Just a thought, but isn't this a hidden wave of SHADOW LIAR LOANS !, in terms of potential hours employed ?

These hours on which debtors got a mortgage, could be taken away at any time. It seems many employees were unaware, in denial, or may have lied about the security of their hours employed :unsure:

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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'They' want a completely casualised, no-rights, insecure, hire-and-fire workforce.

Ideally with large mortgage debts for extra fear.

The joke is that you can't have a financial system based on debt if you have no credit worthy borrowers- and people without regular income will not qualify for most forms of debt.

So if this trend is allowed to spread widely throughout the economy the result will not be economic revival but stagnation as the borrowing that creates the money supply slows down for lack of people to lend money to.

Since about 97% of the money in circulation was created when someone took out a loan from a bank, and took on a debt- creating an increasing number of uncreditworthy zero contract employees is likely to lead to a shrinking money supply as debt is paid back but less is created.

So as fast as they try to inject new debt via 'Help to Buy' the rise of zero hours employment is culling the numbers of people who will qualify for a mortgage or any other form of borrowing. :lol:

Edited by wonderpup

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Well you can't even rent either can you in the private sector?

And self employed people are already distrusted by letting agents, usually needing to pay rent in advance.

Let the "powers that be" cut their own throats.

I'd like to be able to pay my rent and bills on a casual basis.

They ask for it they get it....can't pay the rent/mortgage this month, on zero hours so you get zero rent...put that in your pipe and smoke it.....and no use a pay day loan when there is no pay day. ;)

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The joke is that you can't have a financial system based on debt if you have no credit worthy borrowers- and people without regular income will not qualify for most forms of debt.

So if this trend is allowed to spread widely throughout the economy the result will not be economic revival but stagnation as the borrowing that creates the money supply slows down for lack of people to lend money to.

Since about 97% of the money in circulation was created when someone took out a loan from a bank, and took on a debt- creating an increasing number of uncreditworthy zero contract employees is likely to lead to a shrinking money supply as debt is paid back but less is created.

So as fast as they try to inject new debt via 'Help to Buy' the rise of zero hours employment is culling the numbers of people who will qualify for a mortgage or any other form of borrowing. :lol:

Why, Wonderpup you are a silly, silly man! No jobs but they are expected to get mortgages you say? Nonsense let the oinks eat cake. ;)

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http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/05/zero-hours-contracts-legislation-cable

Vince Cable has said the government could legislate on zero-hours contracts, but ruled out a ban.

The business secretary, who has been leading a review on the issue for the government since June, said he might look at changing the rules for workers who were allowed to work for only one employer.

"Where it is a problem is … where there is an exclusive relationship with a particular employer who actually cannot provide stable employment, or indeed any employment that stops the worker going to another company," he said.

"If we were to narrow it down to the exclusivity issue, and established whether it is a legal problem and how widespread it is, but I'm holding open the possibility that next month when we come to the decision then we could move forward with recommendations to consult on legislation, but we haven't got to that point yet."

Excellent soon we have have unemployed people with several zero hour contracts, guaranteeing you can't be "unemployed" because you work for 5 or 6 companies who can't actually give you any hours.

Mortgages to stipulate you have a minimum of 3 zero hour contracts before you get the lifetime of debt?

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Will the companies that employ people on zero hour contracts be issuing credit terms that reflect this new paradigm- so that should you only earn 50% of your possible income in a month you will only be obligated to make a 50% repayment on your outstanding debt for the month?................Ok- that was a joke.

So here's a question for the philosophers among you- Is a man on a zero hours contract who works for zero hours employed or unemployed?

Technically he must be employed- but since he does no work and receives no pay in what sense is he employed?

And how do we distinguish him from someone who is unemployed? Is such a man a striver or a skiver?

And at what point would such a man be entitled to sign on for JSA- if ever? Because once he has signed his zero hours contract it's impossible for him to know exactly when his employment ends- what is the expiry date of this arrangement?

Perhaps there is no expiry date- perhaps once you sign a zero hours contract you are thereafter condemned to an employment twilight zone where you could linger forever in a state of indeterminate being- neither employed nor unemployed- just a shadowy figure on the fringes of a society that no longer seems to offer you a place or a purpose- from a zero hours contract to just plain zero- the ultimate in flexible labor- there is nothing you will not do- and nothing that cannot be done to you.

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Both my kids have had zero hour contracts. The stuff of nightmares, it is essentially casual labour. They couldn't claim jsa because they were employed.. You can't be available to your employer and seeking work at the same time. They were explicitly not allowed to work for anyone else as that would leave them unavailable to their employer when needed.

They were sometimes brought in on a shift and then sent home if the place wasn't busy. There is no sick pay, no holiday pay. If anyone on 'zero' hours created any kind of fuss or complained they didn't get any hours for weeks at a time until eventually they would leave and sign on.

No one on 'zero' hours can rent a property, unless they have kids and claim housing benefit. You will not qualify for any mortgage of any type.

Thank god they both have 'real' contracts now.

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The first thing that strikes me about the rise of zero hour contracts is that everyone is going to get dragged along to this particular party whether they like it or not. In other words, any company that is able to and choose to implement a zero hours policy vis a vis their workforce, is going to competitively advantaged because they will be able to save on manpower costs during relative slack periods. This, in turn, will leave anyone who does not choose to follow a similar policy, competitively disadvantaged. Thus, all companies will be forced to implement such a policy once a critical mass of companies implement it.

In the absence of an enforced set of ground rules (primary legislation) that outlaws such practices where it can be clearly demonstrated that a company needs a more or less full time set of workers to run their business, damn near everyone is going to find themselves on zero hour contracts in the not too distant future.

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The first thing that strikes me about the rise of zero hour contracts is that everyone is going to get dragged along to this particular party whether they like it or not. In other words, any company that is able to and choose to implement a zero hours policy vis a vis their workforce, is going to competitively advantaged because they will be able to save on manpower costs during relative slack periods.

Zero-hour contracts only work for people who are essentially interchangeable, where workers are competing for jobs. When employers are competing for good workers, the workers will go to the companies offering the best deals.

Ultimately, though, jobs are going to disappear, and any everyone will be self-employed, if they work at all. Just as most of the human race lived for most of time.

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The first thing that strikes me about the rise of zero hour contracts is that everyone is going to get dragged along to this particular party whether they like it or not. In other words, any company that is able to and choose to implement a zero hours policy vis a vis their workforce, is going to competitively advantaged because they will be able to save on manpower costs during relative slack periods. This, in turn, will leave anyone who does not choose to follow a similar policy, competitively disadvantaged. Thus, all companies will be forced to implement such a policy once a critical mass of companies implement it.

In the absence of an enforced set of ground rules (primary legislation) that outlaws such practices where it can be clearly demonstrated that a company needs a more or less full time set of workers to run their business, damn near everyone is going to find themselves on zero hour contracts in the not too distant future.

This is a similar dynamic to the automation issue- anyone who fails to shed jobs and install cheaper technology will be driven out of business by those who do.

Edited by wonderpup

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This is a similar dynamic to the automation issue- anyone who fails to shed jobs and install cheaper technology will be driven out of business by those who do.

They only way to enforce compliance from companies is through UK government or EU legislation. What a shame that all major parties favour a flexible labour market. While they are at it they can ban or re-engineer the role of employment agencies as well.

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http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/aug/05/mcdonalds-workers-zero-hour-contracts

McDonald's has emerged as potentially the biggest zero-hours employer in the private sector after admitting that it employs 90% of its entire workforce in Britain, or 82,800 staff, on the controversial terms.

Today its McDonalds turn.

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The first thing that strikes me about the rise of zero hour contracts is that everyone is going to get dragged along to this particular party whether they like it or not.

You forget the exemption to all this will be the managers.

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First, they came for the gypsies...and I said nothing. Then they came for me

Not sure why the BBC etc have woken up on this now. We have had zero hour contracts since around 2006 from what I can see.

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The first thing that strikes me about the rise of zero hour contracts is that everyone is going to get dragged along to this particular party whether they like it or not. In other words, any company that is able to and choose to implement a zero hours policy vis a vis their workforce, is going to competitively advantaged because they will be able to save on manpower costs during relative slack periods. This, in turn, will leave anyone who does not choose to follow a similar policy, competitively disadvantaged. Thus, all companies will be forced to implement such a policy once a critical mass of companies implement it.

In the absence of an enforced set of ground rules (primary legislation) that outlaws such practices where it can be clearly demonstrated that a company needs a more or less full time set of workers to run their business, damn near everyone is going to find themselves on zero hour contracts in the not too distant future.

The firms will get the workforces they deserve eventually. One that screws them up, sabotages them, spits in the food and so on. With any luck.

Don't expect the rentier Tories or Liebor to fix anything, probably taking instructions and back handers right now. They don't work for us and never have done.

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