McArdle expresses concern over rise of ‘zero hour contracts’

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Friday, August 30th, 2013
SDLP Newry Councillor John McArdle has expressed his concern over the number of ‘zero hour contracts’ which have been introduced into the Newry area. Zero hour contracts are contracts of employment which do not specify any number of hours that the employee is guaranteed work for. These contracts do not guarantee shifts or any work patterns and employees are expected to be available when they are needed. Councillor McArdle stated, “I work alongside my colleagues in the citizens advice bureau and we are seeing increasing numbers of people being offered zero hour contracts. I understand that zero hour contracts may suit some people who want occasional earnings and are able to be entirely flexible such as students. “However, zero hour contracts are being offered as a route out of unemployment to many only to find that there is no work and these contracts make it difficult to find alternative employment or to claim job seekers benefit. “Zero hour contracts make financial planning very difficult as workers never know when their next pay day is. This can lead to some taking on debts that they cannot afford. McArdle added, “The SDLP wants to see all workers’ rights respected and they should benefiting from working. These zero contracts are damaging and I will be working with SDLP colleague Dominic Bradley MLA to have this matter raised at the assembly.”
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