From the TUC

Insecure work is like standing for election every week. We need a new deal for working people

26 Apr 2017, By

MPs aren’t the only ones feeling insecure in their jobs right now. If nothing changes, by the 2022 election hundreds of thousands more Brits could end up stuck in insecure work, being treated like disposable labour.

Zero hours and insecure work growing fast

We’ve done the calculations and the number of people trapped in insecure work is likely to rise by 290,000 over the course of the next parliament. This will take the total of those on contracts such as zero-hours, temp or agency work, and low-paid self-employment to 3.5 million people.

The numbers are getting so big now that it’s hard to take in, but the increase is enormous. It’s same as thirteen extra Sports Directs, or the entire working population of Sheffield.

This hurts everyone. Insecure work costs the Treasury £4 billion a year in lost income tax and national insurance contributions, along with the extra benefits and tax credits that taxpayers end up subsidising bad employers with.

And for the more than 3 million people affected already it spells real personal difficulties.

Paying rent and bills can be a nightmare when you don’t know how much you’ve got coming in each month. And planning childcare is impossible when you’re constantly at the beck and call of employers. Workers on insecure zero-hours contracts also typically get paid a third less per hour than average.

It’s great to see McDonalds’ offering more workers the choice of a fixed hours contract today, following good campaign work by unions like BFAWU and GMB, but the tide is still flowing fast in the wrong direction.

This election is a chance for a new deal

Unions can’t do this alone and we need to see the next government, whoever forms it, to tackle this problem head on.

Every party manifesto in this election must have real commitments to crack down on zero-hours contracts and bogus self-employment.

We want to see:

  • A ban on zero-hours contracts: people working regular hours should have a right to a guaranteed-hours contract.
  • People on variable-hours contracts to get overtime pay for hours outside of their contracts.
  • All workers to have a right to a written statement of terms, conditions and working hours, from day one.
  • Everyone at work to get the same rights as an employee, unless the employer can show that they are genuinely self-employed.
  • Agency workers entitled to the going rate for the job, on an equal basis with directly-employed workers.

For too many people in Britain, work feels like standing for election ever week. Our MP candidates should use this chance to put themselves in the shoes of more than 3 million voters, and plan how they’re going to help build a new deal for working people after the election.

3 Responses to Insecure work is like standing for election every week. We need a new deal for working people

  1. Kenneth Toulson
    Apr 26th 2017, 3:01 pm

    It’s no use continually rehearsing criticisms of this government and its vicious attacks on working people that we all to well aware of Ms O’Grady, unlike our well-heeled trade union movement leaders. It’s what you are going to do about it that matters.

    Far from continuing to protect workers rights, over the last 30 years, the TUC, New Labour Blairites, and right-wing trade union leadership have cravenly allowed working class gains to be eroded.

    Stop reporting the effects TUC and start fighting the attacks and show your mettle!

  2. Max
    Apr 26th 2017, 8:22 pm

    I think the miners strike knocked unions way back and they have never really recovered their influence since.

    I also think that in part yours and many other unions allowed this to happen.

    Fully support the rhetoric and would like to think that some, if not all is achievable against an ingrained anti Union mindset.

    Zero hour contracts are a sort of curse on people who’s experience and training lie in those particular trades.

  3. John
    Apr 27th 2017, 1:57 am

    ”Far from continuing to protect workers rights, over the last 30 years, the TUC, New Labour Blairites, and right-wing trade union leadership have cravenly allowed working class gains to be eroded”.

    I believe that was much more due to the so called free market world economy. Even if the UK was a fairer more equal society, it would still have to compete internationally (with or without Brexit) .. .. . & like it or not, everything still comes down to the bottom line, no matter what sector you are in.

    Younger people now are going to have to be more multitasked and better educated, in order to be very flexible. Factory, manufacturing jobs are going to become even more automated i.e. robotic.

    Trying to stay one step ahead in the job market for anybody is now going to be damned difficult, there is no denying that; but what the TUC proposes in the article above is at least a good start.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *