Large number of workers value jobs that don’t demand fixed hours: Vince Cable

Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable has rejected the proposal to provide workers on zero-hours contracts with a legal right to a fixed-hours deal after twelve months with the same company/employer.

The Labour Party had proposed that people who are working under zero-hours contracts should be guaranteed a legal right to a fixed-hours contract with their employer after a year.

So-called zero-hours contracts allow employers to hire workers with no guarantee of work. In other words, a person working under zero-hours contract can be thrown out of work anytime by the employer without a prior notice. But, these contracts are very popular among several companies as they offer flexibility.

But, Mr. Cable rejected the proposal, saying that unscrupulous employers would throw them out of work a round a month before the completion of year to avoid any such law.

He noted that zero-hours contracts offer flexibility in work to people beyond retirement age, students and those who do not want fixed & rigid work hours.

Speaking on the topic, he said, "Large numbers of workers . value jobs which do not demand fixed, and rigid, hours. Equally, there has been evidence of abuse, with some employers taking advantage of a weak labour market to impose poor, insecure conditions on their workforce."

While, the government says that zero-hours contracts offer flexibility and provide good means of gaining experience; critics argue that such contracts leave workers with little financial security and few employment rights.