Labour MEPs press Commission and governments to act on zero-hours contracts

Labour MEPs have called on the European Commission and national governments to take action on zero-hours contracts.

In the European Parliament today, the Commission will be asked what new measures and policies it has on combating precarious employment, such as zero-hour contracts, bogus (false) self-employment, subcontracted and outsourced work, and undeclared, informal and irregular work.

EU national governments will also be asked what progress they had made in combating precarious employment, and how they can ensure their efforts to tackle youth unemployment will not lead to an increase in precarious employment among young people.

Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour’s leader in Europe, said:

“Zero-hour contracts prevent people from having any form of financial security. It is completely unfair that some employees don’t know how much they will get from week to week – they don’t have zero rent, they still have to put food on the table for their kids.

“People cannot be expected to put their life on hold in the off-chance they are offered work, which they desperately need. It is deplorable that workers can have their shifts cancelled at the last minute, or even be sent home after turning up for their shift.

“Labour MEPs will continue to demand EU action to tackle abusive zero-hour contracts to give workers more financial stability and security.”

Siôn Simon MEP, member of the European Parliament employment and social affairs committee, added:

“Zero-hours contracts offer no guaranteed hours or income, and are a problem across Europe – a very real problem of the quality of work and job security.

“Labour MEPs believe that if you work regular hours, you should have a regular contract, and that is why we are working to end exploitative zero-hours contracts across the EU.

“It’s the young who suffer the most at this vicious end of the job market, and unless the EU and national governments act, this disgraceful practice will continue.”