Derek Vaughan MEP

Working hard for Wales in Europe

Welsh MEP takes action on zero hour contracts

Welsh Labour MEP Derek Vaughan says he will call on the European Parliament to take action on zero hours contracts following the release of ONS figures which show a huge increase in job insecurity.

The figures, released this week, show that 582,935 British workers were on the contracts in 2013, which is three times higher than the total number for the year the coalition was formed in 2010. 

Mr Vaughan said:

"Zero hour contracts are too often terribly misused. Workers have no guarantee of their earnings week to week which makes it hard to budget, very difficult to look after children and near impossible to buy a family home.

In many cases zero hour contracts include a clause insisting that people work exclusively for one business without the guarantee of adequate hours in return. This is grossly unfair and I am concerned that zero hour contracts are even more common in Wales than elsewhere in the UK.

We need flexibility in the workplace, but flexibility must not be used as an excuse for exploitation.

Flexibility should not mean unpredictable hours, irregular pay and no security for the future."

Mr Vaughan added that the European Parliament has already introduced and protected many of the worker’s rights we now take for granted.

"EU legislation protects important workers’ rights including paid leave, equal rights for part-time workers and health and safety protection. It has also ensured protection against discrimination and harassment at work, the right to reasonable working hours and the right to maternity and paternity leave."

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