Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Insecurity, low pay and few hours – Cameron’s unemployment policy

In Cameron’s Britain job insecurity and low pay are becoming a way of life for more and more people.

An issue which has been getting a lot more media attention in recent weeks has been the dramatic rise in zero hour contracts. These are contracts where you are not guaranteed work, but where you are expected to be available to work whenever your employer needs you. It is an incredibly insecure way of working, whereby the employer gets all the benefits of flexible labour, but the worker gets none of the security of income. The rise in these contracts exposes the reality of the Government’s claims about the job market in the UK.

Of course any fall in overall unemployment is welcome, but we must not blind ourselves to the reality of underemployment – as simple employment statistics often can. There are now estimated to be around 1,000,000 people in the UK of working age who are on zero-hours contracts, alongside a rapid increase in temporary and casual work which accounts for around half of the rise in employment since 2010 according to the TUC.

Quality of life, living standards and job security are three things that are not even on Cameron’s policy radar.

If you are on a zero hours contract – please get in touch with me at graham.jones.mp@parliament.uk and let me know about your experience.