Labour 'would ban zero hours contracts'

A Labour government would ban zero hours contracts.

This is according to shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, who told the party’s conference that the contracts are “exploitative.”

He said: “We can only build the economy we need by working together. Employees, business, trade unionists, and government, ensuring everyone has a stake in our future and a decent job.

“Your dignity is why we’ll increase the minimum wage and incentivise employers to pay a living wage. Your security is why we’ll ban exploitative zero hours contracts.”

Zero hours contracts have long been a point of political contention. The contracts enable employers to offer workers no guarantee of hours, but can prevent employees taking on other work.

It is estimated that there are currently some 1.4 million workers on zero hours contracts. This figure is based on a survey of businesses, and some believe that the real number could be much higher.

Earlier this year business secretary Vince Cable called for exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts to be abolished.

In April he said: “We are tightening the screws on rogue employers who try to abuse workers on zero hour contracts. We are looking closely at any potential loopholes that could arise from a ban, to ensure that these are closed off and no one can get round the new law. We are also ensuring there is access to justice for workers treated unfairly.”