David Martin MEP

Labour Member of the European Parliament and one of the six MEPs representing Scotland in Brussels and Strasbourg

European Commission under pressure to act on zero-hours contracts

Senior Scottish MEP David Martin will today, along with his colleagues in the European Parliamentary Labour Party (EPLP) call on the European Commission and national governments to take action on zero-hours contracts.

In today’s Strasbourg Plenary, the Commission will be asked what new measures and policies it has on combating precarious employment, such as zero-hour contracts, bogus (false) self-employment, subcontracted and outsourced work, and undeclared, informal and irregular work.

EU national governments will also be asked what progress they have made in combating precarious employment, and how they can ensure their efforts to tackle youth unemployment will not lead to an increase in precarious employment among young people.

Speaking from Strasbourg Mr Martin said:

"Zero-hour contracts prevent people from having any form of financial security. It is completely unfair that some employees don't know how much they will get from week to week - they don't have zero rent, they still have to put food on the table for their kids.

"People cannot be expected to put their life on hold in the off-chance they are offered work, which they desperately need. It is deplorable that workers can have their shifts cancelled at the last minute, or even be sent home after turning up for their shift.

"Zero-hours contracts offer no guaranteed hours or income. Labour MEPs believe that if you work regular hours, you should have a regular contract, and that is why we are working to end exploitative zero-hours contracts across the EU.

"Labour MEPs will continue to demand EU action to tackle abusive zero-hour contracts to give workers more financial stability and security."

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