Tag Archives: zero hours contracts

Vince Cable’s zero hours contract ban now in force

The Liberal Democrats may no longer be in government but laws we made are still being implemented. Earlier this week, Vince Cable’s ban on exclusivity contracts in zero hours contracts came into force.

It was pretty ridiculous that a company could both have no obligation to provide work and to require that their employees didn’t work for anyone else.

The CIPD, the organisation for HR professionals, wrote about the change on their blog;

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Some thoughts on zero hours contracts – Liberal Democrat record in government is better than Labour’s

Zero hours contracts have taken up a lot of bandwidth and airwaves today.

There is a narrative that goes something like: “There might not be mass unemployment but the jobs created under this government are all zero hours contracts”. That is nonsense. The proportion of the workforce on zero hours contracts is actually very small. It’s only about 2% of all jobs.

If exploitation is going on, even if it’s only a handful of people being exploited, it needs to be stopped. There’s no doubt about that. And Liberal Democrats in Government have stopped the scandal of exclusivity, the practice of not guaranteeing your employee any hours or any pay, but not letting them work for anyone else either. We’re way ahead of Labour.

Jo Swinson said at her campaign launch on Monday that she was thinking about something like ensuring that people would automatically have  rights if they were working consistent hours over a certain period, so she and Labour are not a million miles apart. However, I think that we need to be sure that thee won’t be any unintended consequences from such a policy. Think about it. If you were an unscrupulous employer, would you be inclined to make sure that your employees didn’t build up that consistent work pattern? Labour’s policy might not be the simple solution that they are trying to make out.

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Zero hours contracts – closing the loopholes

Vince Cable at Social Liberal Forum conference 19th July 2014 - photo by Paul WalterYesterday was a public holiday (except in Scotland, where they have more important things to think about), but it seems the party never takes a holiday.  It chose a wet and windy Bank Holiday Monday to announce that Vince Cable was crowd-sourcing loopholes in zero hours contracts. He is specifically concerned about those that require an employee to work exclusively for the one employer, even though no work is guaranteed.

Vince is launching a consultation and inviting employers, unions …

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Call Clegg 26 June: Tories can talk all they like about snoopers’ charter, it won’t happen as long as I’m in government

call clegg Clegg started in robust mood this morning, vowing that Theresa May will not get her way on increased surveillance powers while he’s in Government. He’s done well to stand firm against this for more than two years now. It’s certainly true that he had to be persuaded into this robust stance initially, but it’s to his credit that he listened to the points made to his office by a group of angry bloggers in April 2012 and has held firm ever since.

There seemed to be a clear theme throughout the half hour of Liberal Democrats standing up for people in the face of abuse of power by both state and private companies. Abuse of zero hours contracts is to end thanks to Liberal Democrats and the exorbitant interest rates charged by payday lenders is to be capped, among a whole raft of regulations brought in by Liberal Democrat minister Jo Swinson.

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Vince Cable scraps exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts

Vince Cable, Business Secretary at the launch of the joint government and UK automotive industry's automotive strategyVince Cable has introduced a Bill which will ban zero hours contracts that prevent people from looking for other work. These “exclusivity” contracts are particularly unjust. It’s one thing to not offer work in a particular week. It’s quite another to prevent an employee doing another job to supplement their income.

He spoke about this and other things that he had done to encourage fairness in the workplace in this video including increasing the Minimum Wage, enforcing it and curbing high executive pay, which is also available

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Vince Cable’s speech to Conference

Vince Cable - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsThe agenda for Tuesday morning was rounded off with a speech from Vince Cable, which we publish here in full:

Friends.

It is a special pleasure to speak to Conference in the city where I had my political baptism of fire.  Glasgow is a great city and Glaswegians are warm, hospitable and humorous.

But Glasgow has experienced one party, Labour, rule for decades. And I was part of the Labour political machine here in the 1970s.  On one level it worked.  Insanitary slums were razed to …

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Opinion: We need zero tolerance for zero hours contracts

Lego WorkersThis week Labour began to move the economic debate away from deficit reduction to living standards. It really is a shame that the party elected in 1997 to tackle social mobility and subsequently failed to shorten the gap between the richest and poorest in our society now seem to stand up for working families in hard economic times. Wednesday saw Ed Miliband’s dismal attempt to rekindle his relationship with the TUC but for me he did touch on an issue close to my heart; he committed to legislating to curb the use of zero hour contracts.

I have to admit a special interest, I have worked for a company that uses zero hour contracts for about a year. I myself am not on a zero hour contract. I am also a student and understand the level of flexibility that is required by some people. However I refuse to accept that flexibility cannot be achieved while providing income stability, holiday pay and a safety net for when you fall ill. It is also not constructive for a company to build a relationship with its staff using zero hour contracts resulting in a large staff turnover and an unhealthy competition for hours.

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Some zero hours contracts are good for employees as well as employers

Most zero hours contracts are exploitative and heavily weighted in favour of employers. The media are reporting that today Ed Miliband will use his speech to the TUC  to outline his proposals for cleaning up this murky practice.

Miliband wants to outlaw contracts which offer no guarantee of work, but which do not allow the employee to work for anyone else. He also believes that anyone who works regularly for one employer should be moved on to a proper contract, which will, of course, include holidays and other statutory benefits.

He is right, of course, and I am rather ashamed that Liberal …

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