Sinn Féin MLA Bronwyn McGahan while welcoming the Minister of Employment and Learning Stephen Farry’s announcement that he will hold a consultation on the use of Zero Hour Contracts has said that he needs to spell out any worth in these contracts.
Speaking in the Assembly today Ms. McGahan said,
“The use of Zero Hour Contracts needs to be governed and regulated under Labour Relations Legislation as employees should be guaranteed a minimum number of hours or paid an on-call retainer.
“I am concerned that people on Zero Hour Contracts are working less hours and earning less than employees on contracted hours while doing the same work.
“The present application of Zero Hour Contracts is bad for all workers so I welcome the announcement today by the DEL Minister Stephen Farry that he is to hold a consultation into their use.
“However as part of the consultation Minister Farry needs to outline if there is any value in Zero Hour Contracts to workers as I believe that the only benefit is to increase the profits of multi national companies and creates a hierarchy of workers.
“The consultation will contact 500 local employers so that we get a perspective across the North as international research is very patchy on the issue as the current structure of Zero Hour Contracts are open to abuse and exploitation of workers.
“Workers employed under Zero Hour Contracts do not have standard workers’ rights and conditions such as sick leave holiday pay and other benefits associated with employment and this needs to be addressed
“Zero-hour contracts need to be be strictly regulated to guarantee all workers job security underpinned by labour relations legislation so we welcome this consultation into the practice.”