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Jun 25th, 2014

Zero Hours: Petition to Vince Cable

By Amy Lockwood

Imagine if your boss called you and said you were only needed for, and being paid for, five hours work next week. And probably not at all the following week. Would it be a problem making ends meet? For over a million people on zero hours contracts in the UK this is a reality.

Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced that he’s writing a new law to stop the abuse of zero hours contracts. But he’s only going to address one thing – ‘exclusivity clauses’ which tie people into working for one employer despite no guarantee of work, week to week. It’s a good first step, but it doesn’t go far enough.

Earlier this year, 38 Degrees members pushed for a public consultation on zero hours contracts. And because of our pressure, it happened. Over 36,000 of us emailed in. Together, we said that exclusivity clauses were unfair, but that there were lots of other issues that needed to be addressed too.

Today’s announcement proves the government listened to us and that people power works. But now we need to push for more.

Vince Cable has failed to tackle many of the other problems, for example having no job security makes it impossible to plan paying rent and bills. And being given two hours notice before you’re expected to start work means you can’t make any plans.

Let’s make sure Cable’s left in no doubt that his new law needs to do more to stop the abuse of zero hours contracts. The one million people on zero hours contracts in the UK deserve better.

Parliament will start to look at the bill soon – but there’s still time for Vince Cable to make changes. If enough of us sign the petition, it will let him know that his plans don’t go far enough to protect people working on zero hours contracts. Click here to sign the petition now.

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