Why The Tories Want To Ban Zero Hour Contracts … And It’s Got Nothing To Do With Workplace Rights

zero-hoursDavid Cameron’s conference pledge to scrap exclusive zero hour contracts – which prevent employees from working for anyone else – is not some sign that he actually gives a shit about the poorest and most exploited workers.

The real reason for the ban is to make those workers poorer and even more exploited when Universal Credit is finally introduced (stop laughing) and the DWP start inflicting benefit sanctions on people working part time.

For a long time now, DWP ministers  have been panicking about how Universal Credit and increased benefit conditionality can possibly work alongside zero-hours contracts.  Should Universal Credit ever actually be introduced then part time workers will face the same kind of Jobcentre harassment currently reserved for unemployed or sick and disabled people.  People working part time could even face being sent on workfare in the hours they aren’t at work, whilst they will be required to take on additional jobs at the drop of a hat or their Housing Benefit could be sanctioned leaving them homeless.

These nasty new rules will place anyone working part time on an exclusive zero hour contract in an impossible situation.  If they don’t take up an additional job when the Jobcentre tells them to they will lose their in-work benefits.  If they do, they will get sacked from their other job.  This is why the Tories want to scrap these kinds of zero hour contracts.  So the DWP can start sanctioning part time worker’s benefits.

The truth is that the Tories love zero hour contracts so much that the Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Fraud has suggested people should have more than one.  All they want is a little bit of re-jigging so that Iain Duncan Smith’s latest crazy scheme can go ahead as planned.  The end result will mean more insecurity for the lowest paid workers, with the DWP already boasting to bosses that Universal Credit will make it easier to sack staff.  And those who fail to meet endless petty Jobcentre conditions will find themselves sanctioned and unable to pay the rent.

Of course simply saying they are going to ban exclusive zero hour contracts is only half the battle, and it is one the Tories are likely to lose.  Even the suggestion reveals breath-taking ignorance of how business works.  Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Fraud may dream of low paid workers scurrying from one job to the next desperate to avoid the attention of sanction happy Jobcentre busy-bodies.  But if they really think that Tesco will let their part time staff go work at ASDA in their spare time then they are living in a fucking dream world.

This blog has no sources of funding so here’s a quick reminder that you can help ensure it continues by making a donation.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

48 responses to “Why The Tories Want To Ban Zero Hour Contracts … And It’s Got Nothing To Do With Workplace Rights

  1. Dear Charles McMillan,

    Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 5 September 2014.
    You asked:

    “How many people have been physically disadvantaged as a result of faulty decision
    making processes by decision makers in your employ? How many have died as a result
    of the same?”

    In response to your question, we can confirm that DWP does not hold this information.

    All decisions made by the Department are based on the information and evidence available at
    the time of decision.

    If you have any queries about this letter please contact us quoting the reference number

    Yours sincerely,

    DWP Central FoI Team

    ………………………….are you really sure that you have no idea how many people have been physically disadvantaged or died?

    Your reluctance to release the hastily awaited mortality statistics that you are eager to hide, say otherwise…………….


    • “a sanction becomes an instrument of murder the minute one person has died”
      …………what of the other 46, 000 that have met with an untimely death, could they all be due to natural causes, i doubt it very much?

      The mistakes of a tradesmen are clearly visible, yet the mistakes of the DWP are hastily buried behind obscure coroners reports usually……..

      Keep up the good work, the ethnic cleansing of your poorest, your weakest and most vulnerable is a thankless task.


  2. Wake Up Britain and Get the Tory Bastards Out of Office
    Now and Forever

    • it does not matter what we do no, in the runup to election time these bastarts will push thru as many new bills as they can. look at how long it took them to push thu the internet tracking bill. prepar for a barrage of new reforms so the next party cant do fuck all about them.

  3. This Abyss is the Result of Over 4 Years of the Masses at Large
    having their Fingers up their Arses and Living in their Poxy
    La La Lands Instead of Demanding Decent Government and
    Social Justice

    A Totalitarian Nihilistic Abyss which will Even more Totalitarian
    Nihilistic should The Stinking Tories win the Next General Election

    It is Important for their to be any Hope that We had a Change of
    Government Not an Endless Tory Tyranny

    • overburdenddonkey

      no opp
      people are voting to enhance their portfolios and keep house prices in london and the se of england high…and have a power base of over 200 mp’s we have to vote against right wing parties en mass… @ the very least a big turnout, voting for alt parties, as it will weaken their mandates that they are always claiming strong emphasis for…

  4. Very Interesting Read. Reblogged.

  5. Totally agree that it’s a nasty plan to make it easier to stop people in work from getting benefits. In case anyone hasn’t seen this already, check out Cassetteboy’s version of Cameron’s Conference Speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YBumQHPAeU

  6. More propaganda shite on Auntie Beeb: “Why do the unemployed all have mental health problems?” Oh yeah, and the solution, the magic cure-all panacea for these debilitating mental health problems? Workfare!

    • Eric Greenwood (4727)

      the unemployed have a larger amount of mental health problems becauses the dwp are causing more problems with the pressures and telling people they are to blame..

  7. Wonder what Dave’s got planned for us that he need to opt out of those pesky and inconvenient ‘human rights’. Interestingly, he need the co-operation of the Jock Parliament up Edinburgh and they have now stated that they won’t play ball – wonder how he will work around that.

  8. you forget those self employed who were talked into going down this road with sweet talk from the jcp enticed telling them they can claim working tax credits and more i bet but with them not getting enough hours at their end of their tax yr theyl be deemed not to have worked thuss they get to pay back whot they had nice one rtu ids jeff3

  9. Hi All

    I think I know the answer to this question but wish input from more knowledgable folks. If on ESA, [i.e. out of work for a year and a bit after a C Op] can you be assigned to work programme/workfare? 1st yearly checkup coming due and it occured to me isnt The Wank Programme/Wankfare for those unemployed continuously for 2 years?

    • Yep, if you’re in the Work Related Activity Group. I don’t know whether you have to ask or you get pushed whether you want to or not, though.

      If you land in the Support Group, even the DWP agree you can’t reasonably be expected to work, whether for free or not… at least until your next WCA gives them a chance to kick you off. However, at the moment repeat WCAs are on hold, because ATOS can’t handle even the number of initial WCAs they have to do, and there won’t be additional capacity until at least next year (and as far as I know, there’s been no announcement of anyone taking on the contract ATOS are abandoning – anyone else know better?)

  10. “Should Universal Credit ever actually be introduced then part time workers will face the same kind of Jobcentre harassment currently reserved for unemployed or sick and disabled people. People working part time could even face being sent on workfare in the hours they aren’t at work”

    No need for UC. It’s already happening. My OH works part time and is forced to sign on with me as part of my claim for couple’s JSA. He is also having to attend the Work Programme along with me and has been threatened with sanction 3 times by his “advisor”. His wages are used to reduce the amount of JSA we get yet he is treated like scum by the WP people and the Job Centre and is forced to do a 35 hour a week job search while he is working along with being harassed into taking work that will mean either losing the job he has now to work full time elsewhere or working 2 jobs. This has been going on since July last year and he was forced onto the Work Programme in August. His WP advisor even threatened daily attendance last week even though he has a job and it would affect his ability to earn a wage; this is how insane they’ve become.

    People who work part time and who claim any benefits at all are already being harassed by the DWP and WP providers .

    • Which Work Programme ‘provider’ is it? Name and shame the gits!

      • We have to bring the ‘providers’ DOWN! No job outcome and sustainment payments for them- NIL, NADA!

        • The solution is in jobseekers hands – DO NOT SIGN any of their shit – and that means ANY of their shit! No ‘outcome payments’! No ‘referral fees’! The only language these ‘provider’ cunts understand is money. They will sanction jobseekers without a second thought. Play them at their own game – sanction them!

        • Indeed, they have no right to a payment for a job they had nothing to do with. I am taking steps to obstruct them from claiming a job outcome payment for my OH. He’s had the same job since 2006. I will make every effort to obstruct them from obtaining a job outcome payment for me as well.

      • Bradford Council sub contracting for Interserve.

    • Value Baked beans

      Sorry to hear this snakey but it kind of gives the game away: the system is not there to help you – it is designed to break you! The JC/WP are like a farmer who breaks the legs of his cow and stands their laughing and goading it with a big stick as it tries to get back on it’s feet. These JC/WP “advisers” are utter scum, beneath contempt and pure evil!

      • I agree. In our case though a sanction against either of us while my OH is working would lead to the WP provider not being able to claim an outcome payment for either of us, so they are breaking their own legs as well.

        As far as I know there is nothing in the legislation regarding JSA that states the DWP can sanction the working member of a joint claim couple. He’s not the claimant, I am. “in work sanctions” are mentioned for UC but not JSA. That doesn’t appear to be stopping the WP provider from trying it on anyway. If the WP/DWP sanction my OH it would close our claim down and punish me for a sanction I’d not received. If I’m sanctioned I am expected to live on my OH’s wages and I wouldn’t be able to claim a hardship payment. This action would be punishing my OH for a sanction he’d not received. It would also close the claim down. Either way, a sanction would lead to the DWP breaking their own rules. I suspect that my OH’s attendance on the WP is voluntary and not mandatory yet they have mandated him to attend under threat of sanction.

        What is interesting is that my OH missed an appointment at the WP provider in the middle of September (one he knew nothing about and on a day when he was working). The WP provider rang Provider Direct to get him sanctioned but no WP08 was raised as far as I can tell.

        Does anyone know of a similar situation to ours?

  11. Cameron’s new rap song goes viral on youtube and it’s great: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YBumQHPAeU

  12. overburdenddonkey

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkC2qW8KhO8&list=UUAi1q4QL2HZ2hErZwrziNQg the long game the road to #indyscot…by robin mcalpine…

  13. Margaret Thatcher Tyrant and Traitor was also the Jezebel of the
    British an Evil Demonic Bitch

    Let there be No New Jezebel of the British from the Obnoxious Tory
    Party in Office being a Tyrant Bitch

    Let there be a Nicer Country to live in without Tory Scum Ruining it

    Tax the Rich Hands Off the Poor

  14. therobbiesmith
    1 month ago

    It just makes me so proud to be British. We have a first! The first country ever to be investigated by the UN for its treatment of the disabled. I wonder whether any good will come of this . . . .

  15. The truth is that the Tories love zero hour contracts so much that the Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Fraud has suggested people should have more than one.

    I bet he wouldn’t be seen around one or more of them.instead the security of taxpayers money is his choice. iian duncan smiths speech at the conservative conference,giving the world the rule of law.given his conduct he wouldn’t know what it was.

    • Lord Fraud has never been in the position of working 3 part time jobs with one P45. You can end up with less than you would get on JSA due to the punitive insanity known as Emergency Tax Coding. This has been a problem forever. Adding conditionality and more punishment along with the threat of homelessness is the very last thing needed when a person is clinging by their fingernails to poorly paid part time employment whilst having to claim benefits to live at the most basic level.

  16. It is Important that where there is a By Election or Local Government
    Election as many People as Possible Go and Vote the Tory Boneheads Out and Liberal Democrats as Well as the Liberal Democrats have been
    Lobby Fodder for the Tories since May 2010 on too Many Matters

    I Hope the Stinking Tories Lose the Forthcoming By Elections because
    Anyone Thick Enough to Vote for Them also Lacks Conscience and

    Protests and Demonstrations against Victimisation of the Poor
    against the Imposition of Universal Credit and Slavery Cards and All the
    Degradation that the Tory Nazi Boneheads Represent

    I am Pissed Off with Decent People like David Clapson Dying amidst
    Poverty and Degradation too Many out there being Brainwashed
    Oblivious Boneheads and the Tory Scum Inflicting Misery
    upon the Poor whilst Millionaires have Tax Breaks and MPS go on
    the Expenses Gravy Train

    Tax the Rich Hands Off the Poor


    What rights does the Human Rights Act protect?

    The right to life – protects your life, by law. The state is required to investigate suspicious deaths and deaths in custody;
    The prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment – you should never be tortured or treated in an inhuman or degrading way, no matter what the situation;
    Protection against slavery and forced labour – you should not be treated like a slave or subjected to forced labour;
    The right to liberty and freedom – you have the right to be free and the state can only imprison you with very good reason – for example, if you are convicted of a crime;
    The right to a fair trial and no punishment without law – you are innocent until proven guilty. If accused of a crime, you have the right to hear the evidence against you, in a court of law;
    Respect for privacy and family life and the right to marry – protects against unnecessary surveillance or intrusion into your life. You have the right to marry and raise a family;
    Freedom of thought, religion and belief – you can believe what you like and practise your religion or beliefs;
    Free speech and peaceful protest – you have a right to speak freely and join with others peacefully, to express your views;
    No discrimination – everyone’s rights are equal. You should not be treated unfairly – because, for example, of your gender, race, sexuality, religion or age;
    Protection of property, the right to an education and the right to free elections – protects against state interference with your possessions; means that no child can be denied an education and that elections must be free and fair.

    …………………………as far as i can see, the UK Government seem to be in breach of everything the aforesaid acts are meant to protect.

    Even the first paragraph describes how “SUSPICIOUS DEATHS” should be investigated, yet the DWP seek to hide the ever increasing death toll from welfare reforms.

    You don’t have to be a genius to understand why CHRIS GRAYLING wants to try and replace the acts with a diluted version, it would ease the pressure of the noose that is firmly round our politicians necks.

    48 states are signed up to the treaty but it is not good enough for the UK to comply with, no guessing the reason why?

    The second paragraph, protection from slavery and forced labour encompasses all the evils that are thrust upon us in the realms of workfare yet the commission seems to be looking the other way and dragging it’s heels when it comes to a challenge………………

    Maybe the cavalry are nearer than we think, Grayling is twitching for no other reason than this………

    Whatever paragraph you inspect, the government are seeking to abuse it in some way.

    Perhaps the human rights do not apply to the UK poor and disabled, we are neither treated as humans or equals, just as plebs that can face inhuman torture at the hands of our wealthy keepers.


    ………..the entitlement to a fair, impartial and independent hearing has disappeared………………


      ………….and another breach of human rights, forcing support group disabled to undergo work focused interviews with threat of sanction for non attendance;

      From: Paul Yates

      2 October 2014

      Dear Operations FOI Requests,

      Thank you for this information.

      People from all over the country are currently being called in for
      Work-focused Interviews despite them being in the Support Group.
      They are also being told that if they do not attend then they will
      be sanctioned.

      Something is very wrong here and you need to send an urgent memo
      out to all Jobcentres telling them to stop threatening Support
      Group claimants with sanctions for not attending Work-focused

      Yours sincerely,

      Paul Yates

      Link to this

  18. overburdenddonkey

    http://scottishstatesman.com/ the scottish independence and the calidonian new post indy newspapers …we aim to get rid of the bbc labour libdems and imperialist MSM from scotland.. for posting links use, archive.today archive capture…

  19. OT

    “former editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany’s largest newspapers.”


  20. Workfare conscripts being and marketed as ‘volunteers’ ‘funded through the European Social Fund’! Outrageous!

  21. I Really Despaired Yesterday at what a Load of Spineless Brainwashed
    in a Trance Dummies too Many around us Are

    Their Obliviousness is Evil and Disgusting

  22. Seriously People Need to be Protesting about the Con Dem Madness
    Not just going along like Sheep in a Trance with it

    Instead of Slavery Cards what is Better is Increased Welfare Benefits
    and Price Controls on Maximum Cost of Utilities and Standing Up to Tawdry Tabloid Victimisation of the Poor and Vulnerable

  23. Helping the Poor Not Harming the Poor should be at the Heart of
    Revolutionary Socialism .

    Instead of Tawdry Tabloid Victimisation and the 4 Years of Suffering under the Con Dems the Maniacal Arrogance shown at the Tory Party Conference and Menace of Further Oppression to come what the Poor Need is Not Slavery Cards which is just like in the Third Reich when the So Called ” Arbeitssheu ” had to Wear a Black Triangle in the Nazi Torment Camps but to be Treated with Human Decency and Human Dignity and have Increased Welfare Benefits

    The Real Scrounging is the Obnoxiously High Salaries of MPS and the Expenses Gravy Train so much for ” Austerity ” .

    The Resources of the Country should be Used For the Benefit of Many to Help Many instead of being Hoarded by Greedy Millionaires .

  24. I Agree it is Disgusting the Nazi Victimisation of the Disabled in
    Con Dem Britain and Politicians should Account for their Actions

    A Britain Run upon Caring Socialism with Welfare Benefits in
    Cash Price Controls on Maximum Cost of Utilities and a
    Nationalised Railway Service would be a Reason to be
    Genuinely Proud to be British unlike the Obnoxious and
    Vicious Arrogance of the Tory Bonehead Conference

    GEOFF REYNOLDS | October 4, 2014 at 9:54 am | Reply therobbiesmith
    1 month ago

    It just makes me so proud to be British. We have a first! The first country ever to be investigated by the UN for its treatment of the disabled. I wonder whether any good will come of this . . . .

  25. Pingback: Why The Tories Want To Ban Zero Hour Contracts ...

  26. Pingback: The Scandal of Demonising the Unemployed When There Aren’t Enough Jobs | Andy Worthington

  27. Looking at my MP’s attendance at the House of Commons has given me an idea! Put all MPs on a zero-hour-contract that does not allow outside jobs. They would squeal and squirm!!!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s