Ed Miliband: Labour would tackle zero-hour contracts

 

Ed Miliband will vow that a Labour Government would outlaw the exploitative use of zero-hour contracts.

In his address to the Trade Union Congress on Tuesday, the Labour leader will set out plans to tackle the spread of the controversial zero-hour contracts, which are now believed to affect over 5 million workers in the UK.

Miliband is set to tell the TUC: “We must stop flexibility being used as the excuse for exploitation.”

He will add: “Of course, there are some kinds of these contracts which are useful. For doctors, or supply teachers at schools, or sometimes, young people working in bars. But you and I know that zero-hours contracts have been terribly misused. This exploitation has to stop.”

Miliband, who is likely to face a testing audience at the TUC conference amid his reform of party funding, will propose banning employers from insisting zero-hours workers be available even when there is no guarantee of work.

Contracts that require such workers to work solely for one business will also be outlawed, along with arrangements where employees work regular hours over a sustained period, he will say.

Norman Pickavance, former human resources director at supermarket firm Morrisons, has been asked by Miliband to chair an independent consultation with business groups on how the measures might work.

Pickavance will be asked to look at how businesses can be forced to ensure that employees who work regular hours every week are not left on the no-commitment contracts.

The Unite union this weekend published research that claimed as many as 5.5 million people may be on zero-hours contracts with little guarantee of regular work and pay.

New figures from the House of Commons on behalf of the Labour party showed that Britain has suffered the second largest fall in wages of any G20 country since 2010. The only nation where workers fared worse was Italy, according to the research.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 2nd / 3rd Line IT Support Engineer - IT Managed Services

£30000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company are loo...

Recruitment Genius: Hotel Assistant Manager

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hotel in Chadderton is a p...

Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

Recruitment Genius: Production Administrator

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading and fastest ...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence