There has been an “alarming” increase in the use of casual labour across the UK, and in Scotland in particular, according to an interim report published by the UK Parliament’s Scottish Affairs Committee.

The report has called for the Government to use all the levers at its disposal, including legislation, to change this.

The Committee says the Government’s consultation on zero hours contracts is too narrow:  it is focused on exclusivity and transparency but the Committee says addressing those concerns will do little to help workers who are exploited by unscrupulous employers.

Evidence presented to the Committee has apparently revealed that:

The Committee says that it accepts there are some exceptional circumstances where workers will be happy to be on zero hours contracts and, if both parties are satisfied, then this should continue.

However, it heard evidence of far too many situations where mutuality of obligation is patently not the case and zero hours are being used with little justification by unscrupulous employers who simply want to shirk their responsibilities and exploit their workforce.

The report is an interim one, timed to contribute to the UK Government’s consultation on zero hours.

Contains Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v1.0.

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