Defending the indefensible, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is seeking to rebrand the 1.4 million ‘zero hours’ contracts used in the UK, and celebrate them instead as ‘flexible hours’ contracts. We exposed the winners and losers of ‘flexible’ employment practices recently on this blog, and these contracts remain a green light for unscrupulous employers to strip workers of basic working rights.
The TUC's Frances O'Grady was less than impressed, saying: “If you put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig. Whatever you call a zero-hours contract, it is still a recipe for insecurity and exploitation, where the boss holds all the power.”
Whoever is in power after the general election needs to put in place policies that encourage the creation of jobs offering reliable hours, decent wages (the majority of workers on zero-hours contracts earn less than the Living Wage), and the same basic rights enjoyed by regular employees everywhere.