Over the course of the past few hours Solidarity has attempted to flood the press in an attempt to boost their ratings in the polls, with poor effort posters and anti-intellectual spam. My good friend Greejatus wrote an article regarding flexible working contracts, otherwise known as ‘Zero Hour Contracts’ debunking the nonsense from Solidarity yesterday ,however, Solidarity responded with, shock horror, a poster saying ‘reject the spiel’ – ignoring the evidence presented in the article, and misleading the British public as they did so
First of all, it is worth bearing in mind RedWolf decided to write their article by using a singular source – the Trades Union Congress (TUC) which is of course naturally biased. The Solidarity cult no doubt thinks they are so clever for googling this one source then typing up some data! I will actually Office of National Statistics (ONS) data to eliminate any bias of surveys and use a real life example from McDonalds to illustrate my point.
According to the Office of National Statistics, ZHC are most common amongst young people with 10% of those aged 16-24 in employment in a Zero Hours contract, and 6.2% of those aged over 65 in employment on a ZHC. Furthermore 19% of people on ZHC are in full-time education.
As the economy has strengthened the number of ZHC for those 25-64 has fallen.
60.6% of people on Zero Hour contracts do not want more hours, in other words they don’t need your transformational change and don’t suit your narrative of poor workers being exploited by big evil corporations, Ah yes the NHS which uses ZHC. Only 20.1% of people on ZHC want extra hours or another job.
The current proposals by Solidarity, which would see ZHCs banned, would push the vast majority of these workers out of employment altogether, forcing them onto negative income tax (which is capped at £10,000 per year), and therefore earning less than they would have earned before Solidarity made their job illegal.
Now if workers were crying out for the desperate change Solidarity are pushing for, then you would think less than 80% of workers at McDonad’s would chose to stay on a ZHC when having the option of a fixed job. No this isn’t a survey, this is something that actually happened. It appears that having a choice was actually a good thing and individuals expressed their preference. We don’t need people like RedWolf and moteblinds to tell working people what they actually prefer.
A study in 2013 by the CUPID revealed that those on ZHC were more likely to be happy with their work life balance compared to the overall UK workforce.
The data shows that ZHC are most prevalent for students who can not always commit to fixed hours and people who want to work a few hours a week on the side or in semi-retirement. But Solidarity wants to take that away, and restrict your freedoms and the choices of us as workers.. Whether it’s choosing your child’s school, the kind of employment contract you want or choosing how to manage your own finances, Solidarity wants to take that choice away because they believe they know better than you and can manage your life better.
As Solidarity continues unveiling their ‘focuses’ in the press, only one thing is becoming clearer: Solidarity has no interest in serving the workers, and every interest in ensuring the workers serve them and their ideological goals.
ZHC are an important part of the labour market and has given job opportunities to people who can not commit regular hours, to our young people and to those in full-time education.
The Agency Worker Regulations Act in 2010 can explain some of the rise we have seen in ZHC, the Act means that workers need to be effectively treated as permanent employees after 12 weeks. This has meant employers can not minimise labour costs when demand is variable. The act can explain who employers such as the NHS have opted for Zero Hour contacts. This is something I am happy to take a look at and explore.
I do not doubt there are some people who struggle and feel exploited however banning these contracts outright would be a disproportionate response. We have Negative Income Tax (NIT) which tops up wages for a good reason. If it is ‘insecurity’ we are going after, why stop at ZHC, Solidarity could attack all forms of self-employment, remember they’re the saviours you didn’t need!
If Solidarity had their way, these people would not have jobs, a flexible labour market has helped the United Kingdom have a lower unemployment rate than our European counterparts who have had shocking levels of unemployment. Labour market flexibility is something that has been a positive. A ban on ZHC would mean that more people wouldn’t have jobs at all. It’s clear that this would have more harm than good.
This article was written by Sir /u/Friedmanite19 OM KCMG KBE CT LVO PC MP , Former Chancellor Of The Exchequer and Leader of the Libertarian Party United Kingdom
Ons.gov.uk. 2021. EMP17: People In Employment On Zero Hours Contracts – Office For National Statistics. [online] Available at: <https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/datasets/emp17peopleinemploymentonzerohourscontracts> [Accessed 12 January 2021].
BBC News. 2021. Zero-Hours Contract Workers Happy, Survey Suggests. [online] Available at: <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25098984> [Accessed 12 January 2021].
Jessop, J., 2021. Why Zero-Hours Contracts Are A Good Thing — Institute Of Economic Affairs. [online] Institute of Economic Affairs. Available at: <https://iea.org.uk/why-zero-hours-contracts-are-a-good-thing/> [Accessed 12 January 2021].
Shackleton, L., 2021. Why Zero-Hours Contracts Should Not Be Banned — Institute Of Economic Affairs. [online] Institute of Economic Affairs. Available at: <https://iea.org.uk/blog/why-zero-hours-contracts-should-not-be-banned> [Accessed 12 January 2021].