Labour have talked a lot about zero hours contracts in the election campaign. But what of the record of Labour-run Hammersmith and Fulham Council? My colleague Cllr Mike Adam has made some enquiries.
Debbie Morris, The Director for HR reports:
“There are 280 non schools positions, primarily adult learning tutors and sessional carers that have non-exclusive contracts without guaranteed hours. This has long been the norm in those sectors.
There are 192 schools, which are all supply teachers and non teaching staff, with such contracts. This has long been the norm in those sectors.”
These do not exclusively tie an employee to an employer. But Ed Miliband defines “zero hours contracts” as those who don’t provide guaranteed hours – whether exclusive or not. The council may well argue that many of those on the zero hours contracts are well paid and welcome the flexibility. Fair enough. But that is not the position the Labour Party takes in their campaigning. They can point out that plenty of other Labour councils are at it – but that is hardly the most inspiring defence.
The Labour candidate for Hammersmith uses them. Now we find out that the Labour councillors campaigning for him are taking to the doorstep with an anti zero hours contract message. Then they preside at meetings in Hammersmith Town Hall and decide to apply such arrangements for their own workforce.
Labour’s message is that other employers should be ashamed of using zero hours contracts but when Labour is the employers then it’s fine and dandy. The hypocrisy is staggering.