Zero tolerance for zero hours contracts?

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, has proposed a review of zero hours contracts. Contracts that employ individuals but provide no guarantee of work have risen dramatically in recent years.  Most will understand that this is because during tough economic times businesses need as much flexibility as possible.  However, others argue that the system is open to abuse and is unfair on employees.  In order to understand the two arguments in greater depth Cable has asked officials to review the growth and impact of these contracts.  Whether a ban of such contracts is really ‘on the table’ for the coalition is doubtful and the provision of safeguards is more likely IF the review uncovers significant abuse.  However, a Labour government is likely to take a more strict approach and a future ban may be a possibility.  One of the catalysts for the review is the increasingly widespread use of these contracts in public services like the NHS.  It would be a shame if a genuine measure to ensure flexibility in tough times was unreasonably fettered because it was being abused in the public sector.  After all, does anyone really believe that if zero hours contracts are no longer tolerated that businesses can afford to employ all these individuals on permanent guaranteed contracts?  They will simply join the long list of the unemployed.

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Published: 06.27.13 - Posted In: Latest News