Zero-hours contracts – A major issue for the General Election

Watching the televised debates ahead of the UK general election often highlights real concerns for the British public and zero-hours contracts are thankfully on the agenda.

For those that don’t necessarily understand zero-hours contracts they are essentially casual contracts allowing employers to hire staff with no guarantee of work. This effectively means employees work only when they are needed by employers, often at short notice with pay depending on how many hours they work.

At Magenta Security we are firmly against these types of contracts and condemn their use within the industry so seeing it become a major discussion between the party leaders with an audience of millions offers some real hope that we will see change.

Labour’s Ed Milliband promises to effectively outlaw most zero-hours contracts and proposes that those employees on them will earn the right to a regular contract after 12 weeks, a move that would cover more than 90% of the 1.8m zero-hours contracts in the UK.

Prime Minister David Cameron has argued that these contracts are useful to many people who benefit from the flexibility they provide. The real problem is however that many employers are using zero-hours contracts when employing staff who need the security of a well paid and secure job – not flexibility. It is short sighted from the Conservatives not to realise that this is a major issue that needs to be addressed.

I hope that zero-hours contracts will eventually be kicked out of the security industry but, for the time being, it is welcome news to see it debated in the current political arena.

Stay safe

Abbey Petkar

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