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Zero Hour contracts still at large in among West Midlands employers

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 06, 2014

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MORE than a third of employers in the West Midlands are still using zero-hours contracts.

Research has revealed that almost 60 per cent of the employers in favour liked the idea because it would allow them to quickly respond to changing demand of services, while giving flexibility to employees.

Mike Randall (Pictured) CEO of Close Brothers Financial Assets who conducted the research, said: "Zero-hours contracts have been the subject of some debate between employers, employees and the government recently and it shows no sign of abating.

"While zero-hours contracts can provide flexibility, they can also make things like budgeting and financial planning difficult as it's almost impossible to know how many hours they will be working from month to month.

"Employees are often obliged to work the shifts they are offered and some are unable to accept additional work elsewhere without breaking the terms of their contract."

According to the Office of National Statistics, around 1.4 million people in the UK are currently employed on contracts with no fixed hours.

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  • mattlong  |  August 06 2014, 4:19PM

    The key thing to consider is that ONE-THIRD or 33% of employers are using these zero-hour contracts. So we are effectively talking about a substantial proportion of the available workforce being subject to casualised labour conditions. We hear arguments from parties like the Conservatives who support the capitalist classes - we hear arguments about 'flexibility' and responding to 'seasonal demand' and so on. What we need to hear more about are the counter-arguments which articulate the very real and human consequences of the casualization of labour - namely stress, fear, uncertainty and the inculcation of moral values which preach that there is no loyalty, there is no tomorrow. I am not even calling for the legal prohibition of zero-hour contracts as many on the political left have. I am calling for the political elite to step back and think 'Hang on, whilst zero-hour contracts may have a place for some e they students or the semi-retired- this policy is becoming normalised in society'. It is the normalisation of zero-hour contracts which concerns me and should be the focus of the political left via the Labour party and the wider trade union movement.

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