23 OCT 2018
Workers Rights Bill
Thank you for taking the time to email me about the Workers (Definition and Rights) Bill.
I have long standing commitments in the constituency on the 26th of October so will not be in the House for the vote but I hope the following information on this topic from the Department of
Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is reassuring:
While not suitable for everyone, zero-hour contracts do have a part to play in a modern, flexible labour market because, for a small proportion of the workforce, that may be the kind of contract that is right for them. On average, people on these contracts work 26 hours a week and over 70 per cent of those people do not want more hours.
However, it is important to make sure that those benefitting from the flexibility of these contracts are not exploited by unscrupulous employers and action has been taken.
In 2015, the Government legislated to ban exploitative zero hours meaning it is now illegal for employers to include exclusivity clauses in zero-hour contracts. This means that people have the freedom to look for and take other work opportunities and have more control over their work hours and income. Individuals on these contracts can also make a complaint to an employment tribunal if their employer mistreats them for working, or seeking to work, elsewhere.
Since 2010 employment has increased by 3.3 million and three-quarters of this rise has been in full-time employment. In comparison, less than three per cent of the total workforce are on zero-hours contracts. However, in response to the Taylor Review on modern working practices, the Government has committed to providing a right to request a more predictable contract for all workers, including those on zero hours, as well as a list of day-one rights including holiday and sick pay entitlements and a new right to a payslip.
The Government will now consult on how this can be best achieved and bring forward any necessary legislation in due course.
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