News morris

Published on February 3rd, 2015 | by Pete


Do Only Fools and Horses Work?

How would you feel if I told you that the classic sitcom starring David Jason, and his plonker playing colleague Nicholas Lyndhurst have had it spot on all these years? You would probably think I’m pulling your leg, or that I had had some kind of brain issue, but actually, a press release from those clever people at Scottish Friendly seems to suggest this is the case. It states that unemployed people actually have more spare income than those who work on zero hour contract.

There has been plenty of controversy about zero hour contracts, and it seems that this will only worsen with the latest research indicating that if you don’t work, you are likely to better off than those on zero hour contracts, or those who work part time. So what is a zero hour contract, well here is one definition:

The term ‘zero hours’ is not defined in legislation, but is generally understood to be a employment contract between an employer and a worker, which means the employer is not obliged to provide the worker with any minimum working hours, and the worker is not obliged to accept any of the hours offered.

There is a lot of talk of these types of contract being exploitative, and that more often than not, it is the employee who gets stiffed in these kinds of arrangements.

Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite has the following to say about them:

‘Zero-hours contracts create a throwaway workforce. They form a one-way street, whereby employers bear no risk, avoiding sickness and holiday pay and overtime. Unite has undertaken the biggest survey of insecure workers of recent times. Some 5,000 people from right across the economy contacted us because they want a better deal at work. Very few said that they “enjoyed” the flexibility. The vast majority said that they wanted decent, secure employment. We estimate that some 5.5 million people are now on zero-hours contracts. That’s astonishing. One in five workers in this country have no idea what days they will work or even if they will work from week to week.They told us that this causes problems renting a home or getting a mobile phone. As for a mortgage, forget about that. Zero-hours are particularly prevalent among young workers – most times it is the only work they’re offered.’

Why not give the press release a read – it certainly gave me food for thought.

Post has been written in collaboration with Scottish Friendly.

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