Zero-hour contracts represent everything that is wrong with Tory Britain; insecurity and exploitation disguised as flexibility and economic necessity.
It has been announced that the number of people on zero-hour contacts has risen to 1.5 million. These contracts were intended to be used as an exception, to help small businesses, but instead they have become the norm.
The next time someone supports zero-hour contracts by claiming that workers like their flexibility, I challenge them to meet one of the many constituents of mine that are trying to survive from month to month because they don’t know how many hours of work they’re going to get. Not knowing whether they’ll be able to pay the rent or buy food.
I have met many people on zero-hour contracts and they have explained to me the everyday cost of having no guaranteed work. It means that they cannot plan ahead. People cannot think about owning their own home because they don’t have a guaranteed income and are refused a mortgage. It means that they have to wait until two o’clock in the morning to see if they’ve been given any hours.
The Tories are turning back the clock in terms of worker’s rights and this is a prime example. It reveals what they really are; the enemies of hard-work, aspiration and stability.