Labour MEPs: EU must stop dithering and act on zero-hours contracts to ensure decent work for all


Labour MEPs are supporting today's World Day for Decent Work by calling on the EU to stop dithering and finally take action on zero-hours contracts.

In recent weeks, Labour MEPs have been leading efforts in the European Parliament to pressure the European Commission on what new measures and policies it has on combating zero-hour contracts, bogus (false) self-employment, subcontracted and outsourced work, and undeclared, informal and irregular work.

Labour MEPs have also been pushing national governments on what progress they have made in tackling insecure employment, and how they can ensure their efforts to tackle youth unemployment will not lead to an increase in such work.

SiƓn Simon MEP, Labour's European Parliament spokesperson on employment and social affairs, said:

"In Britain, 744,000 people are employed on a zero-hours contract - that's nearly three-quarters of a million hardworking people and their families without any form of financial security.

"It is completely unfair that some employees don't know how much they will get from week to week - they don't have zero rent, they still have to put food on the table for their kids.

"People cannot be expected to put their life on hold in the off-chance they are offered work, which they desperately need. It is deplorable that workers can have their shifts cancelled at the last minute, or even be sent home after turning up for their shift."

Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour's leader in the European Parliament, added:

"Zero-hours contracts offer no guaranteed hours or income, and are a problem across Europe - a very real problem of the quality of work and job security. The EU must take action to tackle abusive zero-hour contracts and give workers more financial stability and security.

"If you work regular hours, you should have a regular contract, and that is why Labour MEPs are working to end exploitative zero-hours contracts across the EU.

"It's the young who suffer the most at this vicious end of the job market, and unless the EU and national governments act, this disgraceful practice will continue."

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