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Labour lodges bill to scrap zero-hour contracts

Labour is taking action against one of the most insidious attacks on vulnerable workers by today lodging a Member’s Bill against zero-hour contracts.

Certainty at Work Bill sponsor and Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says the spread of zero-hour contracts is a nasty result of the global financial crisis and the failure of Government to protect vulnerable workers.

“Labour believes a balance must be achieved between flexibility and certainty in the workplace. Zero-hour contracts do not strike that balance and have no place in modern employment relations.

“Unlike casual agreements that provide flexibility for both employer and employee, zero-hour contracts require employees to be available for work at all times but place no expectations at all on employers to provide work.

“The Certainty at Work Bill requires employment agreements to include an indication of the hours an employee will have to work to complete the tasks expected of them. It maintains flexibility for employers while giving employees certainty about the amount of work they can expect to be offered.

“Given widespread public disapproval of zero-hour contracts, I hope eliminating them will be a priority for Parliament this year and that New Zealand workers will finish 2015 in a much better position than they started it,” Iain Lees-Galloway says.