Zero hours contracts reach record levels

  • The number of people on controversial zero hours contracts has reached a record high of 910,000.


    New figures based on an analysis of Office for National Statistics data reveal that 110,000 more people were on contracts that do not guarantee work in 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.


    That's an increase of nearly 14%, and 30% higher than 2014.


    In 2005, there were just 100,000 people on zero hours contracts (ZHCs).


    But although the new figures are a record, they also reveal a sharp slowing in the rate of increase in the last six months of 2016.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39147135


    The slowing down in the rate of increase doesn't mean anything. Zero hours contracts are a scandal and should be banned. They and the gig economy are simply used to disguise the true number of unemployed and exaggerate the number of ' new business start ups.'


    They are not an option for hundreds of thousands of people who have to rely on tax credits and housing benefit to survive. The surplus of labour caused by mass immigration is the main reason employers can use them to pay minimum wages and avoid their responsibilities such as maternity leave to their employees .

  • Where I currently work they always used to have zero hours contracts for the workshop staff, now they hire contractors. The guys were better off before - they had sick pay, pension contributions, holiday, the firm looked after their tax/NI contributions and they had a notice period. Now that is all gone - half the blokes are happy though because they are not declaring their income. To me the only ones who have gained by dropping zero hours contracts are the company themselves. People seem to forget what the alternative to zero hours contracts is - rarely is it a steady 38 hour contract, unless those are the hours the employees are working anyway and in that case there is legally no difference.


    In the restaurant business Deliveroo provide a great solution - they handle deliveries. Previously a restaurant/takeaway would need to hire a driver for the night - if things got quiet they lost money and if things got too busy for one bloke they lost sales or pissed off customers by being late. Given the casual nature of the job sometimes the driver wouldn't turn up or would leave with no notice so due to all that many places didn't bother with deliveries. Deliveroo solves all that and has increased sales for many restaurants with an associated boost to the economy.


    Employee regulations need to be very carefully applied. There's little point improving conditions only for there to be no jobs available any more. It's like selling a product that no one can afford.

  • (snip)


    The slowing down in the rate of increase doesn't mean anything. Zero hours contracts are a scandal and should be banned. They and the gig economy are simply used to disguise the true number of unemployed and exaggerate the number of ' new business start ups.'


    They are not an option for hundreds of thousands of people who have to rely on tax credits and housing benefit to survive. The surplus of labour caused by mass immigration is the main reason employers can use them to pay minimum wages and avoid their responsibilities such as maternity leave to their employees .

    While I agree with your last sentence, I don't reckon its anything by the Government to mask figures, how can it be?


    It's not the government masking figures, but companies. The people are employed, just on terrible terms.

  • Where I currently work they always used to have zero hours contracts for the workshop staff, now they hire contractors. The guys were better off before - they had sick pay, pension contributions, holiday, the firm looked after their tax/NI contributions and they had a notice period. Now that is all gone - half the blokes are happy though because they are not declaring their income. To me the only ones who have gained by dropping zero hours contracts are the company themselves. People seem to forget what the alternative to zero hours contracts is - rarely is it a steady 38 hour contract, unless those are the hours the employees are working anyway and in that case there is legally no difference.


    In the restaurant business Deliveroo provide a great solution - they handle deliveries. Previously a restaurant/takeaway would need to hire a driver for the night - if things got quiet they lost money and if things got too busy for one bloke they lost sales or pissed off customers by being late. Given the casual nature of the job sometimes the driver wouldn't turn up or would leave with no notice so due to all that many places didn't bother with deliveries. Deliveroo solves all that and has increased sales for many restaurants with an associated boost to the economy.


    Employee regulations need to be very carefully applied. There's little point improving conditions only for there to be no jobs available any more. It's like selling a product that no one can afford.


    There was a Commons committee about the likes of Uber and Deliveroo recently, check it out if its still available either on the BBC parliament channel or website. Put it like this, things aren't so rosy as Uber and Deliveroo would like to make out.


    Where a employer cannot offer a standard 35 hour contract for a specific job, then they should "pool" workers. So, a pool of workers are not employed to do specifically one job in one place, but move around as and when needed. So, if more deliveries are required in one area more than another on a particular day, the pool worker(s) gets sent there. This should be supplemented by part time workers, but on permanent contracts. Bringing in contractors just "contracts" the problems away from the employer.


    Treatment of workers is a HOT issue for me and as said before, I've been a life long Conservative voter. My former employer can't even hand out the correct envelopes properly.... More about those bastards in the future...:mad: If there's one subject beyond care of the elderly that will get me hot under the collar, its this one.

  • Where I currently work they always used to have zero hours contracts for the workshop staff, now they hire contractors. The guys were better off before - they had sick pay, pension contributions, holiday, the firm looked after their tax/NI contributions and they had a notice period. Now that is all gone - half the blokes are happy though because they are not declaring their income. To me the only ones who have gained by dropping zero hours contracts are the company themselves. People seem to forget what the alternative to zero hours contracts is - rarely is it a steady 38 hour contract, unless those are the hours the employees are working anyway and in that case there is legally no difference.


    In the restaurant business Deliveroo provide a great solution - they handle deliveries. Previously a restaurant/takeaway would need to hire a driver for the night - if things got quiet they lost money and if things got too busy for one bloke they lost sales or pissed off customers by being late. Given the casual nature of the job sometimes the driver wouldn't turn up or would leave with no notice so due to all that many places didn't bother with deliveries. Deliveroo solves all that and has increased sales for many restaurants with an associated boost to the economy.


    Employee regulations need to be very carefully applied. There's little point improving conditions only for there to be no jobs available any more. It's like selling a product that no one can afford.


    So do employers if this story is anything to go by. Although again it seems to be one of those ' our employees are self employed ' companies.


    "Couriers who deliver parcels for Marks & Spencer, River Island and John Lewis face being charged £150 a day if they cannot find cover when they are ill.


    Drivers for the multinational company DPD, which also makes home deliveries for Amazon and Asos, told the Guardian the contractual threat meant they sometimes forced themselves to work when sick.


    One driver in the east of England said his manager charged him £150 last year when he couldn’t work because of an upset stomach."


    https://www.theguardian.com/bu…e-if-unable-to-find-cover

  • I suppose that comes from government IR35 rules where contractors must be distinct from employees - one test being that a contractor can cover for absences whereas an employee can't. Most probably if these companies were forced to have standard employees there would be no business at all, and of course no job to complain about.

  • Where are you getting the "contractors" from Hoxton?


    These delivery people, in my opinion, are employees but are treated as self-employed. I don't get where you're getting the contractors from, that's a totally different thing.

  • Where are you getting the "contractors" from Hoxton?


    These delivery people, in my opinion, are employees but are treated as self-employed. I don't get where you're getting the contractors from, that's a totally different thing.


    Self employed as a limited company/contractors - same thing.

  • Have you've seen the budget today hoxton? What do you think?


    Could it be the start of trying to sort out the very issue we are discussing in this topic?


    With the change in NICs, we may be starting to see the end of the current self employed system.

  • Have you've seen the budget today hoxton? What do you think?


    Could it be the start of trying to sort out the very issue we are discussing in this topic?


    With the change in NICs, we may be starting to see the end of the current self employed system.


    Just as I'm about to start up as self employed... Haven't seen it yet.

  • Have a read up....I'm going to read the documents later, but I do reckon its the beginning of the end for the self-employed...


    Not sure how it affects me. However as someone who's always made the effort to work for a living within the boundaries of UK law I am used to being penalised by successive governments - it is easier for them to target me than people who actually cause the problems in this country. My career goal probably should be to sit at home on my arse and let the state look after me and occasionally earn a few quid cash in hand when I can be bothered to sober up. Some bastard installed a work ethic in me, something for which I shall never forgive them.

  • I think the government is trying to address the issues you raised in your original post here.


    The whole idea of working for someone like uber was to "choose" when you work, so the benefits of self-employment were apparent. But the likes of Uber, Amazon etc has abused all this and really the bulk of those who are officially classed as self employed are in effect employees without the benefit of being properly employed.


    So by changing NICs, it is less tax advantageous to "employ" people on a self-employed basis, so it makes sense to just have proper employees. Of course, companies may simply just have less staff overall if their NIC bill keeps rising...

  • I think the government is trying to address the issues you raised in your original post here.


    The whole idea of working for someone like uber was to "choose" when you work, so the benefits of self-employment were apparent. But the likes of Uber, Amazon etc has abused all this and really the bulk of those who are officially classed as self employed are in effect employees without the benefit of being properly employed.


    So by changing NICs, it is less tax advantageous to "employ" people on a self-employed basis, so it makes sense to just have proper employees. Of course, companies may simply just have less staff overall if their NIC bill keeps rising...


    That's the front they are putting up but lower paid self employed workers won't lose out apparently so it should make no difference to that sector of the job market. Instead it penalises mugs that have made an effort to build up a decent skill set that is in demand and have built a good reputation as a hard worker. There was me naively thinking I could finally start to cash in! Wrong again... I shall have to find a tax fiddle - I know the British public support companies that avoid taxes so I should be on pretty safe ground there.

  • It's a tax grab. Obviously. The country is getting close to being 2 trillion in debt and if they can get some pennies from somewhere, they will.


    Long term, I think this is the beginning of the end for those who are self employed, but low paid and this is the start to try and "push" those people into becoming employees, whether they like it or not.


    Of course, if you are a well paid tv presenter and you are self employed via a limited company, this will make no difference.

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