Labour MEPs: Rise in zero-hours contracts highlights need for urgent action

Labour MEPs today reiterated calls for urgent action to tackle zero-hours contracts, following the latest figures showing a rise in their usage in the UK.

Eight hundred and one thousand people were employed on a zero-hours contract between October-December 2015, up from 697,000 for the same period in 2014 – a 15 per cent rise.

And there were 1.7 million contracts without minimum hours in November 2015, a 200,000 increase since the start of the year.

Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour’s Leader in the European Parliament, added:

“Labour MEPs have long been calling for action on zero-hours contracts, and we have been leading the European Parliament’s calls for action.

“The European Commission needs to act now to tackle the problems of insecure employment, youth unemployment and poor wages, and urgently come up with policies. This is what the EU should be doing, working with national governments to strengthen workers’ rights and clamp down on these unfair practices.

“Far too many employers are using exploitative zero-hour contracts without a thought of the negative consequences they have on people’s lives. If you work regular hours, you should have a regular contract – everyone deserves to be in quality employment and employers have a responsibility to ensure their employees are protected in the workplace.

“All workers deserve adequate wages, social security protection and decent workplace conditions. Labour MEPs will continue to fight for quality jobs with job security in the UK and across the EU.”