Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Business News

MP moves to reform zero-hours contracts


The first attempt at banning the exploitative use of controversial zero-hours contracts has been put before Parliament and could help an estimated one million workers.

Labour’s shadow local government minister, Andy Sawford, presented a Private Members’ Bill yesterday that would ban employers from using zero-hours contracts –which have no set hours each week and can leave staff not knowing how much they will earn – on an exclusive basis. Employers would also be unable to force workers to make themselves available for shifts if no staff were needed, and companies would have to offer a fixed-hour contract after 12 weeks’ continuous employment.

Sports Direct, McDonald’s, Cineworld and others have been revealed to use the contracts, promp- ting the Government to hold a review

Labour leader Ed Miliband has already called for a change in the law and has asked Norman Pickavance, a former Morrisons director, to chair a consultation  on how the measures might work.