JARROW MP Stephen Hepburn MP has joined the call for action to end the exploitation of workers on zero-hours contracts.
Labour called a special debate in Parliament demanding action to stop rising insecurity at work – including the exploitative use of zero-hours contracts.
According to recent estimates, there could be as many as a million workers employed on zero-hours contracts – with a big increase since the coalition Government took office – and they are now used in one in five workplaces.
Mr Hepburn said: “Under David Cameron we have seen rising insecurity at work, compounding the living standards crisis that local families are facing.
“I recognise employers and employees need some flexibility, but I’m not in favour of people in the Jarrow Constituency lacking job security and having to be flexible about whether or not they can afford the weekly shop.
“Zero-hours contracts cause insecurity and uncertainty for too many families in our area.”
Last month, Labour leader Ed Miliband announced plans to ban exploitative zero-hours contracts by:
n Banning employers from insisting that those on zero-hours contracts are available, even when there is no guarantee of any work;
n Stopping zero-hours contracts that require workers to work exclusively for one firm;
n Ending the misuse of zero-hours contracts where employees are, in practice, working regular hours over a sustained period.
n Putting in place a code of practice on the use of zero-hours contracts.
Last week, Mr Hepburn attacked the Government’s economic policies and called on the Prime Minister to “do something, and get in the real world”.
During heated exchanges in Prime Minister’s Questions, he called on Mr Cameron to end, “tax cuts for millionaires, tax cuts for the wealthiest firms in this country and a bonus bonanza in the City, while millions are denied the right to work and people who are hard-working in work have had their pay cut by £1,500”.
Mr Hepburn said afterwards: “The Prime Minister cannot hide behind the fact his Government are standing up for the wrong people.”