More people than ever are working on zero-hour contracts, according to new figures from the Resolution Foundation think tank. But the GMB union said the claim that workers would trade security for flexibility was „absolutely absurd” and accused McDonald`s of „jumping before being pushed” to offer guaranteed hours. Paul Maloney, GMB`s southern region secretary, told BuzzFeed News members that they were struggling to get mortgages or even rent apartments because their zero-hour contracts meant they couldn`t prove a steady income. When zero-hour contracts first made headlines during the 2015 election campaign, they were widely denounced as a terrible development in the labor market. But a new survey suggests workers are happier with these strange deals. What is the reality for workers? „Let`s say you`re a breadwinner and the best you can get is 30 hours in mcDonald`s pay,” he said. „You won`t be able to support a family. Contracts must be offered for up to 40 hours, which is normal for an employment contract. McDonald`s should offer that. So far, the line has been consistent that contracts are an important part of flexible working and that 70% of those who stick to them, especially students, are satisfied with the agreement. According to the Office for National Statistics, more than 900,000 people in the UK said they had zero-hour contracts in the three months to the end of June, up 21% from the previous year.
VERY flexible for the most part. You tell them what days and hours you can work, they will give you that. You might ask if you can come on a day when you don`t normally work due to a staff shortage, but you have your say. Worse still, the use of these controversial contracts has been linked to poor work practices and stories of employees being intimidated with the threat of fewer hours if they complained. Sickness benefits are rarely included in the contract, but vacation pay must be paid in order to comply with working time regulations. Zero-hour contracts (ZHCs) are often used by retailers, hotels, restaurants, and leisure centers, although many companies, such as Sports Direct and McDonald`s, have been heavily criticized for their use because they do not offer a minimum number of hours, but require workers to be available when needed. Companies like Sports Direct, McDonald`s and Amazon have been criticized over the past year for taking advantage of contracts that unions say offer little security to workers. Others, however, insist that contracts have created a flexible workforce that has helped keep unemployment low while giving individuals greater influence over when, where and how much they work. What do politicians say? Economy Secretary Vince Cable ruled out a complete ban on zero-hour contracts, saying they offered employers „welcome flexibility.” The government has completed a 12-week public consultation on the issue and will respond „in a timely manner.” However, the unions have complained that only exclusivity clauses and the lack of transparency of workers` rights are discussed here, while the problems workers face with these contracts are much more extensive. The government has also been criticized for threatening to deprive job seekers of benefits for three months or more if people refuse to accept positions with zero-hour contracts.
Labour has pledged to fight the „epidemic” of zero-hour contracts if it wins the next general election, more rights for workers, compensation if shifts are cut in the short term and a fixed-hour contract after 12 months with an employer. Details of the reforms announced by the coalition in this week`s Queen`s Speech have yet to be announced. „Restaurant employees [McDonald`s] complained that they had difficulty getting loans, mortgages and cell phone contracts because they didn`t have a job guarantee every week,” the Guardian said. Zero-hour contracts have become an extremely controversial topic. Companies and executives say they are giving workers and businesses the necessary flexibility, while employees say they are facing short-term changes in working hours and cannot make financial plans. McDonald`s has tested the programme in 23 UK cities and found that 80% of workers „chose to keep flexible contracts”, reports The Guardian, with the company saying it had seen an increase in „employee and customer satisfaction after the offer”. Based on an initial attempt at 23 stores, McDonald`s reported that 80 percent of workers chose to keep zero-hour contracts instead of switching to guaranteed hourly contracts. Other companies, such as Sports Direct, have moved away from zero-hour contracts for directly employed workers in recent months. Some of these contracts require workers to take over the shifts offered to them, or their contract is terminated. The so-called „zero-hour contracts” have become one of the causes of the labor market in recent years.
Another thing McD`s could have done is to intentionally select stores with a large number of people who want zero hours – for example, those where many more or more students work, thus distorting the statistics. (This is what I would have advised them if I had been bad enough to work in the field of manipulative market research.) It`s the flexible contracts that many of us were able to work on at some point, especially when we were studying, that don`t guarantee a certain number of hours per week or month. Chief executive Paul Pomroy told Sky News that the fast-food giant`s 115,000 workers „will have the choice of having a flexible zero-hour contract or moving to a permanent position”. The BBC notes that the number comes from a survey of 40,000 people and is entirely based on what a person believes their employment contract says. The estimate may therefore not be entirely accurate, but the increase of 153,000 people employed in this way is still „statistically significant”. How many people have zero-hour contracts? According to the Office for National Statistics, in January and February this year there were around 1.4 million jobs in the UK using zero-hour contracts over a two-week period, a much higher number than expected. Contracts are most likely to be offered to women, people over 65 and young people, nearly one-fifth of whom are in full-time education. Tourism, gastronomy and the food industry used the highest proportion of zero-hour contracts. Over the next few weeks, keep an eye out for our Definitive Employer Guide to Zero Hour Contracts. He said: „There are now almost a million people in the UK with zero-hour contracts.
That`s a million people without job security, who earn less than people with stable jobs and don`t know what to live on from week to week. „We`re not saying the sample is perfect, but what we`re saying is that it`s the most reliable sample of zero-hour contract workers in the UK, without onS data,” the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which conducted the survey, told the Financial Times. .