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MP calls for protection for zero hour employees

By Lynsey Bradford, Town Reporter Friday 9th May 2014
Michael Dugher

A BARNSLEY MP has called for new laws to protect employees on zero hours contracts from exploitation.

Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher has said new rights should include the right to demand a fixed hours contract when they have worked regular hours over six months for the same employer.

He also said they should have the right to receive fixed hours contracts automatically after one year unless they decide to opt out and should be protected from employers forcing them to be available at all hours, insisting they cannot work for anyone else or cancelling shifts at short notice without any compensation.

He said in some instances, zero hours contracts offered short term flexibility for both employers and employees, but a minority of employers were misusing zero hours contracts to cut costs.

"I want to see action taken to put that right by ensuring employees who have worked regular hours get a regular contract. And by banning the worst abuses of the system like people being required to be on call all hours of the day for one employer without any guarantee of work."