A zero tolerance attitude needs to be taken towards zero hours contracts as such contracts do nothing for the rights, livelihoods, or prospects of working people.
This is the view of Labour Galway senator Lorraine Higgins who said “people will be caught in working poverty” unless the Government begin a “clamp down” on such contracts. “The casualisation of work hours is unsustainable,” she said.
Sen Higgins said zero hours contracts allowed employers to cut wages and avoid paying holiday pay, pensions, and other benefits. Meanwhile workers were not guaranteed weekly hours or income, are unable to take on other work, and were obliged to be available for work “at the whim of the employer”.
She also said the “growth of zero-hours contracts” is one of the main reasons why working people “have seen their living standards decline in recent years”. She also warned that unless more well-paid jobs with guaranteed hours are created, the State would “end up with a two-tier workforce with many people stuck in working poverty”.
“We need to enforce a zero tolerance attitude for zero hours contracts,” she said, “because at the end of the day Ireland will only succeed when working people succeed.”