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BIG rise in zero-hours contracts in Cornwall

BIG rise in zero-hours contracts in Cornwall

Published by Emma Carton at 10:32am 28th February 2020. (Updated at 11:08am 28th February 2020)

Above image: Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

There are fresh calls to ban zero-hours contracts as figures reveal the shocking number of workers on them in Cornwall.

According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), that is how almost 10,700 people are employed in the Duchy.

The union says 107,000 workers across the south-west report that they are on zero-hours contracts.

That has risen by 32,000 (42%) on the year before and is the highest level since recorded began!

Despite higher levels of employment, the trade union body warns this is no time for celebration. 

TUC South West says insecure employment contracts impact negatively on workers' lives and can make it hard to stay afloat financially. 

What did the TUC survey find?

A recent survey conducted by the TUC with zero-hours workers found: 

  • The main reason workers are on insecure work contracts is because it's the only type of work available to them; 
  • Over half (54%) say they struggle to pay bills because they can't get enough work;
  • And most have had shifts cancelled last minute thus making it difficult to plan child-care and personal appointments.  

The TUC has also calculated the exchequer loses £1.9bn a year because ZHCs workers earn on average a third less than permanent workers. 

"We know the majority of workers on zero-hours contracts don't want to be on them. They're completely one-sided and cause so much financial strain. 

"Most of these contracts are also used in low paid industries like hospitality, construction, and social care. 

"Nobody can earn a living or raise a family off this type of insecurity." 

"The flexibility for workers claimed as an advantage of zero-hour contracts can still be achieved in ways that are not so unfair.

"Boris Johnson thanked the working classes for lending him their vote. 

"One of his first duties as Prime Minister should be to ban zero-hours contracts and ensure ordinary working people get the permanent, guaranteed hours contracts they deserve.

"New Zealand has done it. Ireland has done it. It's time the UK stepped up and banned zero-hours contracts".

Nigel Costley, regional secretary of the TUC South West

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