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Gloucestershire Business News

Zero-hours culture needs tackling, Prime Minister is warned

The widespread use of zero-hour contracts needs investigating more closely, a think tank has warned.

Research by the Resolution Foundation has revealed that 400,000 workers aged over 25 on zero-hour contracts had been with the same employer for at least 12 months.

The foundation said that while flexible contracts worked for some people, the lack of guaranteed hours was a cause of financial insecurity and worry for others.

Conor D'Arcy, policy analyst at the foundation, told the Guardian that Theresa May needed to tackle the matter head-on.

"The fact that the use of zero-hours contracts has grown, and the Prime Minister has chosen to highlight the issue of job insecurity in her maiden speech,  mean that they need far closer, and more measured, scrutiny," Mr D'Arcy told the Guardian.

"Many workers who are on a zero-hours contract want more stability, reliable hours and greater protection. Helping them get this should be a priority of this government."

While firmly on the side of business, Punchline believes that the balance has shifted too far against employees on the issue of zero-hero contracts and that it's not good for the long-term future of the economy.

When people don't know how much money they're going to have in their pockets from one week to the next, that uncertainty is bound to make them less likely to spend it, which isn't good for business.

What do you think? Email 

Readers' comments:

Derek Martin, Glevum Security: It would be good to understand how many of the 400,000 zero-hours contract workers are on those type of contract by choice.

Other reports I have seen show a normal Government answer that the numbers have increased because more people are reporting the fact than previously and we should see a reduction following the reporting of Mr Ashley at Sports Direct, who will likely be calling for other billionaire business owners/operators to follow his lead.

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