Doing the zero sums

Published on by

Work & Security

Pressure on public sector budgets has led to a rise in zero-hours contracts, particularly in the care sector. The biggest losers are vulnerable service-users and staff on poor pay and insecure hours. It all adds up to the next big care scandal Over the past year, the government has repeatedly raised concerns about the quality … Continued

READ MORE

The forward march of zero-hours contracts must be halted

Published on by

Work & Security

“It’s the uncertainty that gets to me,” Shirley says, despondently. “These contracts only work one way – they don’t offer any flexibility even if you wanted it because if you turn down hours you suffer. One of the girls had her hours permanently reduced because she asked the line manager for a day off to … Continued

READ MORE

Zero-hours contracts must be a two-way street

Published on by

Work & Security

Official estimates suggest that the number of people employed on a zero-hours contract – which provides no guaranteed hours of work – has risen from 134,000 in 2006, to 208,000 in the last quarter of 2012, and that 8% of workplaces in England and Wales now use zero-hours contracts. These figures are sure to be an underestimate. … Continued

READ MORE

Minimum wage is the least carers deserve

Published on by

Wages & Income

Gavin Kelly, The GuardianA good thing about the national minimum wage, you might think, is that even if it’s set at a pretty modest level you can at least be sure that everyone will receive it. Sure, there will be the odd rogue employer who needs to be tackled for non-compliance. But it’s not like there … Continued

READ MORE

The scandal of low-paid care workers

Published on by

Wages & Income

A friend who is a care worker employed by an agency has a moan to me about her work. Repeated 15 minute slots with a client followed by a frantic dash to another part of the city she lives in to do the same again. Care in a hurry, on the cheap. Welcome to home … Continued

READ MORE