Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Zero Hours Contracts.

There is a lot of news around zero hours contracts. The government is going to look at the whole debacle that zero hours contracts have become. But then, zero hours contracts where people may only do a few hours a month are not new. Round the board room table zero hours could be the norm!

But it depends on where you are in the hierarchy as to how good or bad a situation zero hours contracts are. Chief executive officers do not need to have any formal qualifications whatsoever and many don't. There are company directors who earn tens of thousands of pounds for a few hours a month. 

The vast majority of high-paying jobs require a significant initial commitment in the form of education, training and tuition, and then the hard work while on the job. Think about junior doctors who are doing long hours. For a doctor the education, training and tuition can last for up to eight years. 

There was a time that I had such a situation, I had specialist skills that businesses needed. But they never knew when they would need my expertise. So I was kept on a yearly retainer. Some would see me once or twice a year. Others went from one year to the next and never saw me. But they knew I was available and they continued to pay a retainer.

Imagine, being employed on zero hours contracts. Only paid minimum wage for a few hours whenever you're skills are needed. You could be on a business's books as an employee, yet never paid from one year to another. Business is business, and the work for many skilled people was exported to third world countries. Now zero hours contracts are bringing third world working practices here. Next time you see improved government employment figures... Ask yourself, how many of the newly employed who are off the unemployment register are on zero hours contracts. Its acknowledged by government that the figure is over a million and rising. 


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