Sunday, 5 April 2015


The TUC’s general secretary supported Labour’s extremely weak proposals for zero-hour contracts. Our candidate Glen Hart, had this to say -

Celebrating Ed Miliband's proposals, Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said:
“Zero-hours workers are often too afraid to speak up for their rights for fear of losing work.
We need a fairer system that guarantees zero-hours workers decent rights at work and stops them from being treated like second-class employees.”

Missed amongst the fanfare of Labour’s announcement is that the plans fall very short indeed of what is necessary. They are not far reaching enough to tackle the exploitation of workers. Also, they lack provision to strengthen the position for trade unions.

In its ‘Equality and Employment Rights Department’ document, (March 2014), the suggestion was made by the TUC that employment status rules should be reformed to ensure that not only zero-hours contract workers, but also casual workers, agency workers and freelancers, are protected from mistreatment at work.

The report said that rules on continuity of employment should be reformed to ensure casual workers who experience breaks in employment could still qualify of employment rights.

The proposed three-month delay before protection of full employers status, has raised concerns from some employment law specialists that unscrupulous bosses will use this period to terminate contracts, prior to full employment contract entitlements.

Instead of cautious reforms, we call for the repealing of all anti-trade unions legislation.

This will ensure that statutory rights apply to ALL workers once they enter the workplace. It will ensure the imbalance between the powers of the employers against workers is redressed.

After all, putting right that imbalance was precisely how trade unions secured employment rights, that helped establish employment law in the first place.

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