Derry Sinn Féin representative Liam Friel has called for Zero Hour Contracts (ZHC) to be governed and regulated under Labour Relations Legislation.
Liam Friel said
“Zero Hours Contracts should be governed and regulated under Labour Relations Legislation.”
“While I accept that it is impossible to legislate for every situation Zero Hour contracts should be the exception to the rule – only applicable in exceptional circumstances. All employees should be guaranteed a minimum number of hours or paid an on-call retainer.
“The present application of Zero hour contracts is bad for all workers.
“Thousands of workers, a large percentage who are women continue to be covered by zero hour contracts – many employed in the service/call-centre sector and trapped in low paid jobs with poor working conditions.
“These workers don’t know from one day to the next if and when they will work again.
“This is not acceptable – workers should be treated with dignity and respect.
“The structure of ZHC is such that they are open to abuse and exploitation of workers. It is inappropriate for ZHC to be used instead of employing a worker on a part-time or full-time contract that comes with the standard workers’ rights and conditions. It is also inappropriate for employers to take advantage of the ZHC structure to exploit workers, denying them basic rights while at the same time getting all the benefits of their labour.
“The notion of zero hour contracts flies in the face of dignity in the workforce and totally undermines any notion of workers’ rights. By ensuring basic work standards and protections such as ending the inappropriate use of ZHC and demanding a living wage, we can raise standards for the bottom 20% of workers who are particularly exploited and disadvantaged.
“Sinn Féin believes that the incidence of and conditions of zero-hour contracts should be strictly regulated to guarantee all workers job security underpinned by labour relations legislation.”