Miliband promises new zero-hours contract rights

Ed Miliband will today promise new rights for workers to stop the "worst abuses" of zero-hours contracts - employment contracts which do not guarantee the provision of work.

Government confirms no ban on zero-hour contracts

The Government has said zero-hours contracts will not be banned despite admitting that "there has been evidence of abuse".

"While for many people they offer a welcome flexibility, for others it is clear that there has been evidence of abuse around this type of employment, which can offer limited employment rights and job security", a Business Department spokesman said.

A worker using a computer.
Ed Miliband will today promise new rights for workers to stop the 'worst abuses' of zero-hours contracts. Credit: Press Association Images/CHRIS YOUNG

He added that the Government was still analysing the results of a consultation following research carried out last year into the key concerns and would publish a response in due course.

Labour leader Ed MIliband is set to promise new rights for workers to stop the "worst abuses" of zero-hours contracts later today.

Read: Miliband promises new zero-hours contract rights

Labour pledge 'long way from where we need to get'

The GMB union has welcomed Ed Miliband's recognition of zero-hours contracts "exploitation", but said the Labour leader's proposals are "a long way from where we need to get".

GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said the safeguards pledged were "a starting block to get proposals that are fit for purpose."

File photo of call centre workers
Ed Miliband is set to promise new rights for workers to stop the 'worst abuses' of zero-hours contracts. Credit: Richard Pohle/The Times/PA Wire

"Those at the top getting more than their fair share is the major reason for the growth in precarious forms of jobs like zero hours, bogus self-employment, agency and temporary work, very short hours, part time jobs, flexible and casual employment," he added.

Read: Miliband promises new zero-hours contract rights

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Miliband: Zero-hours contracts 'like an epidemic'

Labour leader Ed Miliband believes zero-hour contracts have "spread like an epidemic across our economy".

"The Government's own figures say they have increased three-fold since 2010 and some estimates suggest there are one million people on these contracts across the UK," Mr Miliband is set to say in a speech later today

Labour leader Ed Miliband.
Ed Miliband has pledged a Labour Government would give new rights to workers. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press Association Images

He has pledged that a Labour Government would create a number of safeguards, including legal rights against being forced to be available at all hours - and being barred from working for others - when no work is being guaranteed.

Anyone working regular hours for six months would have the right to ask for a fixed-hours contract and it would be automatic after a year unless the individual opted out.

Miliband promises new zero-hours rights

Ed Miliband will today promise new rights for workers to stop the "worst abuses" of zero-hours contracts - employment contracts which do not guarantee the provision of work.

Ed Miliband will promise to give extra protection to workers on zero-hours contracts Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Among the measures the Labour leader will outline are new rights to stop employees being forced to be available at all hours and a curb on companies who ban their staff from working elsewhere.

The opposition are also looking at guaranteeing compensation if staff have their shifts cancelled at late notice.