Low-paid, low-skilled jobs are being offered by a number of Labour-run authorities without any guarantees of how often recruits will be needed. Even higher-skilled jobs such as social work are advertised without a set number of hours offered. The news has led to claims of hypocrisy against Labour, whose leader Jeremy Corbyn has claimed zero-hours contracts are “exploitative” while his party’s manifesto set out plans to outlaw them.
As usual, Labour say one thing and do another
Conservative MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “As usual, Labour say one thing and do another. Labour councils are using the same zero hours contracts that Labour have said should be banned.
“We’ve always recognised these contracts work for some people, but that they must not be abused.”
Zero-hours and casual contracts allow employers to hire staff without having to guarantee giving them work.
TUC analysis of Office for National Statistics records found there are around 780,000 such agreements in place.
Labour first pledged action to crackdown on the use of the contracts in 2013.
In 2017 Mr Corbyn made a “no ifs, no buts” promise that a Labour government would ban them altogether.
His party’s election manifesto pledged to “ban zero-hours contracts – so that every worker gets a guaranteed number of hours each week”.
Prime Minister Theresa May has refused to ban the contracts saying the move would “harm more people than it would help”.
Among the jobs recently offered with zero hours by Labour councils are a post as a “casual hall attendant” advertised by Cheshire West and Chester council.
Bury Council is hiring social workers without guaranteeing them a set number of hours.
Darlington Borough Council posted an advert for a tutor on “established zero hours” terms.
A spokesman said: “Successful candidates for this post enjoy the same terms and conditions as fixed hours posts – including sickness pay and holiday pay. The term ‘zero hours’ refers to the fact that the hours are variable.
“The contract issued for this post was consulted on and agreed with staff and their representatives a few years ago.”
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