New Zealand Labour Party

Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts

The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health boards – Hutt Valley, Nelson-Marlborough and Southern – had some 282 staff working or not, as the case may be, on unfair-zero hour contracts last year.

“Let’s hear the Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse justify that. He’s spent the last few weeks reassuring Kiwis he is looking to outlaw the practice he describes as ‘unnecessary in a modern and flexible labour market’.

“The Government talked up these nasty arrangements when it suited. Now it’s feeling the heat it’s scrambling around in an attempt to look sympathetic to the public mood.

“Employers don’t want zero-hour contracts – good ones have demonstrated that by dumping them – and nor do their staff. 

“Zero-hour contracts remove the opportunity for permanent employment. Michael Woodhouse should stop talking out of both sides of his mouth. He should lead by example and make sure the DHBs have stopped this practice,” Annette King said.