Sutton Council employs more than 300 staff on zero-hour contracts

Sutton Guardian: Sutton Council has defended its use of the contracts, which allow work and pay to be stopped without notice Sutton Council has defended its use of the contracts, which allow work and pay to be stopped without notice

More than 300 Sutton Council workers are on controversial 'zero-hour contracts'.

But the council has defended its use of the contracts, which allow work and pay to be stopped without notice, by saying they are a "necessary evil".

Zero-hour contracts are used to create on-call working patterns where employees are not paid a salary, they are paid only for the hours they work.

They are regularly used to employ students or retired people who want to do work when it suits them.

But they have attracted criticism as they may be exploited by unscrupulous employers to deny employees work for any reason.

Business Secretary Vince Cable has said they need closer regulation but ruled out banning them.

Last week it was revealed that Sutton Council employs 334 people on zero-hour contracts after a question was raised by Labour Councillor John Keys, who said he had been employed on one such contract and described it as "no fun".

Liberal Democrat Coun Colin Hall replied: "We have 334 current members of staff on zero-hour contracts in things like arts and leisure and supply teachers.

"When engage staff in zero-hour contracts it's when people are on holiday or off sick or where there is a seasonal demand for work."

Conservative Coun Tim Crowley asked Coun Hall to explain why the council raised concerns about McDonald's' use of zero-hours contracts at a recent meeting relating to a new restaurant opening in Wallington when the council itself uses them

Coun Hall said: "There are zero-hour contracts and there are zero-hour contracts. There are contracts where you must only work for one employer and there are those that allow you to work for others - like ours.

"Sometimes zero-hour contracts are a necessary evil and sometimes they are really unpleasant."

 

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Comments (5)

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6:17pm Tue 21 Jan 14

theavengers says...

And when people who are trying to work full time full paying jobs can't get steady work they turn to benefits then are told they are scum for doing so and then are turned away and made homeless by landlords who won't take dss top up. A vicious circle where those trying to do the right thing and work are treated like garbage and then told by society it's all their fault. We need full time well paid work for British Citizens and good landlords who also rent to those in work and those trying to be good citizens. Zero hour contracts just de humanises a person and makes them feel disposable and stressed not knowing from one month to the next if they'll lose everything.
And when people who are trying to work full time full paying jobs can't get steady work they turn to benefits then are told they are scum for doing so and then are turned away and made homeless by landlords who won't take dss top up. A vicious circle where those trying to do the right thing and work are treated like garbage and then told by society it's all their fault. We need full time well paid work for British Citizens and good landlords who also rent to those in work and those trying to be good citizens. Zero hour contracts just de humanises a person and makes them feel disposable and stressed not knowing from one month to the next if they'll lose everything. theavengers

7:19pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Binsanity says...

No Councillor Hall they are not a neccessary evil. You and your party of double standards are using a workforce with no regard for their welfare or circumstances. No commitment to their health, holidays, maternity, paternity, pensions, etc... You sir, and your party of Dickensian tyrants must be removed at all costs. The people of this borough are fast waking up to this council constantly squeezing the working class, the disabled, the elderly, those on neccessary benefit and the lesser paid. We are also expecting the usual Lib-Dem pre election gimmicks and last minute promises. Thankfully we can draw on the Lib- Dem lies and deceit of the last election to fully understand that they will say anything and promise the world to keep their privilages and positions. We, the electorate, are wiser now.
No Councillor Hall they are not a neccessary evil. You and your party of double standards are using a workforce with no regard for their welfare or circumstances. No commitment to their health, holidays, maternity, paternity, pensions, etc... You sir, and your party of Dickensian tyrants must be removed at all costs. The people of this borough are fast waking up to this council constantly squeezing the working class, the disabled, the elderly, those on neccessary benefit and the lesser paid. We are also expecting the usual Lib-Dem pre election gimmicks and last minute promises. Thankfully we can draw on the Lib- Dem lies and deceit of the last election to fully understand that they will say anything and promise the world to keep their privilages and positions. We, the electorate, are wiser now. Binsanity

11:16pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Giles C says...

Great quote from the party of Rennard....
"There are zero hours contracts and there are zero hours contracts"
Get a grip Cllr Hall...
Great quote from the party of Rennard.... "There are zero hours contracts and there are zero hours contracts" Get a grip Cllr Hall... Giles C

10:14am Wed 22 Jan 14

Niki R says...

Astounding brass neck from Coun Hall. The fact is that this Council employs 300 plus staff on zero hour contracts who feel devalued, insecure, who cannot get finance for a car or mortgage, who face rejection when trying to rent from private landlords, who cannot realistically budget or plan ahead. This is nothing to be blase about, but then these are the Councillors who dug their heels in and refused to pay Council staff the Living Wage until they were shamed into it by Conservative and Labour Councillors at the last full Council meeting. They are out of touch and should be out of office.
Astounding brass neck from Coun Hall. The fact is that this Council employs 300 plus staff on zero hour contracts who feel devalued, insecure, who cannot get finance for a car or mortgage, who face rejection when trying to rent from private landlords, who cannot realistically budget or plan ahead. This is nothing to be blase about, but then these are the Councillors who dug their heels in and refused to pay Council staff the Living Wage until they were shamed into it by Conservative and Labour Councillors at the last full Council meeting. They are out of touch and should be out of office. Niki R

7:08pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Nichu44 says...

Ending this practice would go some way to reducing the inequalities within the borough mentioned in another article.
Ending this practice would go some way to reducing the inequalities within the borough mentioned in another article. Nichu44

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