Labour zero hours contracts vow

Ed Miliband would impose a crackdown on the use of zero hours contracts by "exploitative" employers, should Labour get into power at the next election.

Zero hours workers 'earn average of £500 a month'

A study of zero hours contracts by Unite the Union has found that those working on such conditions earn an average of £500 a month. A survey of 5,000 members found that the vast majority of people working such contracts did not want to continue on such terms. The study found:

  • More than one in five were on zero hours contracts
  • Workers on Zero hours contracts reported earning an average of £500 a month
  • Under-30s more likely to be on zero hours contracts - 50% of those who Unite spoke to were between 16-30
  • A third of respondents said they did not get holiday pay
  • 77% of respondents said they did not get any sick pay
  • Only one in seven said they wanted to stay on zero hours contracts

Miliband: Contract flexibility no excuse for exploitation

Labour leader Ed Miliband will outline his pledge to clamp down on the misuse of zero hours contracts In a speech to the TUC tomorrow, he is expected to say:

We need flexibility. But we must stop flexibility being used as the excuse for exploitation.

Exploitation which leaves workers carrying all of the burdens of unpredictable hours, irregular pay, no security for the future.

Of course, there are some kinds of these contracts which are useful. For doctors, or supply teachers at schools, or sometimes, young people working in bars

But you and I know that zero hours contracts have been terribly misused.

This kind of exploitation has to stop.

We will support those businesses and workers that want to get on in life. But we will ban practices which lead to people being ground down.

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Unite: 5.5 million on zero hours contracts

As many as 5.5 million people could be employed on zero hours contracts, according to a survey of Unite members.

It says the "staggering" figure - five times previous estimates - show there is a "growing sub class" of insecure, low paid employees earning an average of £500 a month.

Read: Wild variations in opinion over zero hours contracts

More: Zero hours workers share their experiences

Miliband pledges to end zero-hour contracts

A Labour government would impose a crackdown on the use of zero-hours contracts by "exploitative" employers, Ed Miliband will tell the TUC conference tomorrow.

Ed Miliband will tell delegates at the TUC a Labour government would curb the use of the controversial contract. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Mr Miliband will tell delegates that while the contracts can be useful in some cases they have been "terribly misused" in many others.