The growth of zero hours contracts is a clear sign that the economic recovery is incomplete and unequal. Whilst flexibility in the labour market is important, it is clear from the rapid increase in the number of zero hours contracts that work has become more insecure. This is a worrying trend when we should be encouraging stable and secure employment.
Job security is vitally important – it is only the way that people can plan for the future. I accept the argument that these contracts can be beneficial for some people, such as students, but their widespread use is very concerning. There are now more than a million people on zero hours contracts in our country.
I welcome the fact that exclusivity has been banned from zero hours contracts – which Labour committed to in its last manifesto. We must also ban the contracts which require people to be available immediately for work. People need to be able to plan ahead and employers must allow their workers to do that.
Fundamentally, we must enforce the principle that everyone who works regular hours receives a regular contract. It is simply unacceptable that so many workers are being left for months and years on zero hours contracts, unable to plan for the future.