Leonard: Abolish Zero-Hour Contracts and help 60,000 Workers

The Labour Leader has said Labour's plans to 'radically reform' the Scottish economy would benefit more than 60,000 Scottish workers, currently struggling on zero-hour contracts.

Richard Leonard made the comments after the Office for National Statistics estimated a total of 63,000 Scottish workers are on these contracts, which have been branded as 'exploitative' by major Trade Unions. 

The number of Zero-Hour contracts in the UK have trebled since 2012, with over 900,000 workers on one nationwide.

The Scottish Labour leader also promised that a Labour government would ban these contracts and give those working in the 'gig economy' the same rights as traditional workers with sick pay, parental leave and protections against unfair dismissal.

“Each day tens of thousands of people in Scotland wake-up each day not knowing if they will be given enough hours at work to put food on the table or to pay their rent." said Leonard.

“The existence and growth of these contracts over the last decade is a sign of an economic and moral decay in our society. We cannot sit by and allow this to continue, our economy needs to be radically reformed."

“That is why the next Labour government will ban these contracts and bring in a real £10 per hour living wage to give ordinary people secure and well-paid work. 

“We will also bring about an irreversible shift in employee rights by giving those who work in the so-called gig economy the same rights as traditional workers with sick pay, parental leave and protections against unfair dismissal."

Leonard's comments come on the back of the Archbishop of Canterbury hitting out at the "ancient evil" of precarious work last week.

The Most Rev Justin Welby told the TUC conference "the gig economy, zero-hours contracts, is simply the reincarnation of an ancient evil".

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