End exploitation: Banning zero-hours contracts

The Government proposal to outlaw zero-hour contracts, low-hour and banded hours employment deals is to be welcomed.

These unsustainable developments represented a new low in worker exploitation and have no place in a society that aspires to fairness and social cohesion.

Four industries — retail, hospitality, education and health — regularly use these contracts and leave workers in an uncertain, unprotected limbo where it is impossible to plan a life or a family in a meaningful way.

These are also the sectors where workers must rely on family income support to meet basic needs despite the profitability of their employers.

The Central Statistics Office published data which showed the economic crisis of 2007-2008 brought the biggest reversal in real earnings in Ireland since the Second World War.

Zero hours and other race-to-the-bottom exploitations contributed to that process too and it is appropriate that they are made illegal.

It is inevitable that employers’ lobbyists will oppose this but their arguments must be rejected. All workers deserve to be treated fairly and with respect.

More on this topic

Government's zero hour contract legislation flawed - LabourGovernment's zero hour contract legislation flawed - Labour

Trade union Mandate bids to get rid of zero hour contractsTrade union Mandate bids to get rid of zero hour contracts

Restaurant owners criticise proposal to ban zero-hours contractsRestaurant owners criticise proposal to ban zero-hours contracts

Trade union calls for 'zero hours' contracts to be outlawedTrade union calls for 'zero hours' contracts to be outlawed


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