Labour have ‘zero credibility’ on zero hour contracts according to UKIP’s North East Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott, after new figures revealed that Darlington Borough Council employs nearly 400 staff members on either a casual master or zero hour contract.
The figures were accurate as of the 20th October 2014, and were released under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Last year, figures released by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development suggested that the national figure for zero hours contracts could be approximately 1 million. Pro rata, that would indicate an estimate of circa 39,000 North East workers on zero hour contracts.
Jonathan Arnott, Darlington’s local Euro MP, said “The Labour politicians which lead Darlington Council should feel completely and utterly ashamed. These shocking statistics are prevalent not only in our region, but in Labour-led councils right across the country.
“I do understand that these contracts can be a necessary evil for some small businesses, which are not yet at the stage where they can gauge the amount of work required from one week to the next. But big corporations, which our political class cosy up to, use zero hour contracts on a basis which can often lead to the exploitation of workers.“
A recent study by Durham University graduate Marjorie Libourel found the use of zero hour contracts disrupts family life, leads to higher divorces rates, and problems for child care and holiday arrangements.
She argued that the lack of stability for on demand employees makes it difficult to budget and plan finances in the long term.
Arnott continued “As leader of the Labour Party, Blair promised that a Labour government would see an end to zero hour contracts. Twenty years on, Labour MP’s and Labour-led councils are still using them collectively in their thousands. As a party, Labour have zero credibility on zero hour contracts. All talk, no substance.”