Campaign Against Zero-Hour Contracts
Zero-hours contracts loosely cover a range of contract arrangements that mean workers have no guaranteed weekly hours or income, only being paid for the hours that they do work. The Office for National Statistics now estimates that 250,000 people are on zero-hours contracts having risen from 134,000 in 2006 (0.5 per cent of the workforce). Others argue that the figure is much higher as many people do not know they are on them, e.g. most agency workers will be on zero-hours contracts. Recent CIPD statistics point to around one million people being on zero-hour contracts.
Zero-hours contracts are unfair as they create insecurity and lead to exploitation for many ordinary people struggling to get by. They are one of many forms of underemployment (people working less hours than they want) blighting the British economy. Workers on zero-hours contracts are also not able to take on other work, as they are obliged to be available for work when the employer wants, making it more difficult for workers to leave poverty. Zero-hours contracts are higher among young people than other age groups; these contracts should not be the first thing young people experience when entering the world of work.
It is our aim to have all Strathclyde University employees off zero-hour contracts and guaranteed a minimum number of work hours. We intend to push this campaign further to all universities across Scotland; into the public sector; and ultimately have a complete abolition of zero-hour contracts written in law. By abolishing zero-hour contracts we can guarantee each and every worker a minimum amount of hours per week therefore increasing their financial security and reducing worker exploitation.