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Zero Hour Contracts

(5 Posts)
BAnanas Fri 16-Aug-13 16:53:19


I was asked to sign a petition by regarding zero hour contracts, which I did a while back. The petition's organiser, Steven Daniels, asked signees to share it on Facebook, which I am not on, so I am sticking it here in the hope that someone else hasn't already done so. I have never done a link before and have followed the instructions, so fingers crossed!

I find the whole premise of Zero Hour Contracts deeply unfair and although it's reported it suits a certain percentage of those who are on them to work unguaranteed hours, I would imagine for the vast majority it's a disaster. I don't know how anyone employed in this manner could be expected to live any viable sort of independent life. Like unpaid internships, they seem to presuppose that the individual will be living with their parents who will be prepared to support them indefinitely. I imagine it suits unscrupulous employers very well, I believe the sports shop boss is now a billionaire, I'm not sure how he squares that with his conscience. In the meantime his staff languish on these stingy contracts never knowing how many hours they will be allocated and without the benefit of any holiday or sick pay. Having read about Amazon allegedly electronically tagging their staff so they can monitor their time in the toilet, that together with their dubious tax status has made me want to boycott them. The John Lewis' ideal of treating their staff as partners is one of the things that make them the superb company they are. Unfortunately, we seem to be living in an age where more and more people are expected to work for very little, or for that matter nothing at all. Am I being very naive, or are there other GNs out there who share my concerns?

Greatnan Fri 16-Aug-13 17:44:59

Signed - I will try to share on Facebook.

Backagain Fri 16-Aug-13 22:15:21

BAnanas, I agree with all you say, and thank you for posting it on GN and thus drawing attention to it.
I thought it was bad enough a few years ago when DD took unpaid internships in London after her Art History degree. Very prestigious establishments they were too, but they didn't even pay her travel expenses. Just unpaid labour in the name of "experience" in return for her being able to use their names in her CV. Such cynical abuse of the young. angry
But I am even angrier now. DS, after working away diligently, ever since he started school really, doing what he was told was the right thing, then working his way around Australia for a year supporting himself and growing up, has returned to this country to learn that his History degree is not worth the paper it is printed on. And the only work he has been able to find here (and he has been trying, believe me) is zero hours contract barwork. He just finds out each Sunday by checking the rota what, if any, hours he has been given for the following week. And he is so demoralised that he is grateful for what he gets. I am livid that this is all he is deemed to be worth. The bar has two or three people they keep on like this. I can see the advantages to the employer - they are pretty obvious - but I can't see how this practice was ever allowed to develop. How on earth can grown adults having to work like this order their lives? How can they take on normal, every day commitments, like rent, bills, household expenses......for goodness sake what about having a relationship, children to support? This is simply not a viable way of life except in the very short term for very young people earning pocket money. angryangry

MamaCaz Sat 17-Aug-13 14:11:58

Well said, Backagain.

Greatnan Sat 17-Aug-13 14:39:58

I agree completely - I have shared on Facebook.