Natalie Bennett: Zero-hours contracts should be banned

31 July 2013

THE Green Party has called on the Coalition Government to ban zero-hours contracts. 

Two days after it emerged that retailer Sports Direct employs 20,000 staff on zero-hours terms, the Guardian has established that Buckingham Palace, the royal family's London residence, hire workers under the controversial employment practice. 

"That workers in Buckingham Palace, home to some of the most privileged individuals in Britain who are supported by extensive public funding, should be employing workers on zero-hours contracts, committing them to be available to work without guarantee of work, is deeply disturbing,” said Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader. 

"The Palace should be changing these arrangements immediately and guaranteeing the workers a stable income for the term of their employment. 

"Zero-hours contracts put workers in an invidious position, uncertain if they're going to have enough money to pay their rent, the food bills and other essentials. 

“The ice-cream shop that calls staff in or not on the basis of the next day’s weather forecast might be maximising its profits, but its putting its workers in an impossible situation – and ensuring that the state has to pay corporate welfare to cover the shortfall. 

“Zero-hours contracts should be banned, and I'd urge every shopper to consider the list of companies that use them, and consider whether they want to give their shopping cash to them." 

Protests against zero-hours contracts outside Sports Direct stores are planned for this weekend.

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