I’ve spoken to many people in Liverpool Walton who are employed on zero-hours contracts and they’ve told me of the struggle they and their families face on a daily basis and the continual cloud of uncertainty that hangs over them.
Some have had to sacrifice time with their kids in order to be available whenever their employer requires them to be, even if there is no work. Others are required to work exclusively for one employer with no guarantee that they will get enough hours to pay the bills. I’ve also met people employed on zero-hours contracts even though in practice they work regular hours.
Zero-hours contracts mean insecurity and stress for too many families in Walton. This can’t continue, which is why Labour has set out plans to outlaw the exploitive use of zero-hours contracts.
A Labour Government would ban employers from insisting zero-hours workers be available even when there is no guarantee of any work, stop zero-hours contracts that require workers to work exclusively for one business and end the misuse of zero-hours contracts where employees are in practice working regular hours over a sustained period.
Both employers and employees need flexibility and zero-hours contracts can be useful for certain professionals such as doctors or supply teachers. But flexibility shouldn't be an excuse for the exploitation of hard-working people.
I’m in favour of flexibility but I’m not in favour of people in Liverpool lacking job security and having to be flexible about whether they can afford the weekly shop. We’ve got to put a stop to that and that is what Labour is determined to do.
David Cameron boasts that he’s fixed Britain’s economy but what he fails to realise is that his economic recovery is only benefitting a few at the top and not the vast majority of hard-working people, too many of which are employed on unstable zero-hours contracts.
We need to build an economy that works for working people because a recovery that only benefits a few at the top is not only unfair but also unstable. It won’t be built to last.
Hard-working people in Walton should feel confident and secure at work; ending the exploitive use of zero-hours contracts is an integral part of achieving this and I will be standing to shoulder-to-shoulder with Ed Miliband in the lobbies, voting to make this happen.