Originally posted on 23 Dec 2013

The government announced last week that it is consulting on the problems identified around the use of zero hours’ contracts.

Vince Cable MP Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade said:

vince cable·  “The Government is committed to achieving a labour market that is flexible and fair. Our policy is to give employers theconfidence to hire and create new jobs, and to provide a framework that allows individuals to not only find work, but to find work that suits them and their individual circumstances. We have been implementing an ambitious range of employment law reforms to help us deliver this vision and sustain the recovery in the labour market that now sees record levels of employment in the UK.

·   But there is more to do. Zero hours contracts have been used responsibly in some sectors for many years. They can support business flexibility, making it easier to hire new staff and providing pathways to employment for young people. These contracts and other flexible arrangements give individuals more choice and the ability to combine their work with their other commitments. But this Government has always been clear that we will address and crack down on any abuse or exploitation of individuals in the workplace.

·   The Government therefore seeks to maximise the opportunities of zero hours contracts while minimising abuse and setting core standards that protect individuals. This consultation document sets out the issues we have identified so far, seeks further evidence and invites views on a range of potential actions Government and employers can take.

·   The Government will respond following the close of the consultation, and will set out any action we intend to take. In the meantime, I encourage you to engage in the consultation.”

Martin Pollins
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