Important new information has emerged via an FOI response which states that unemployed benefit claimants should not be sanctioned for not applying for or not taking up a job on a zero hours contract.
This suggests that someone at the DWP has spotted a looming problem for Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms which could see up to a million jobs on zero-hours contracts unavailable for benefit claimants because of stringent new rules on benefit conditionality.
Zero-hours contracts are a fast growing phenomena which are used by grasping employers to strip away workplace rights and demolish job security. Instead of regular hours for regular pay, companies force employees to sign a contract which simply states they will be available for work, but offers no guarantee of any work actually being available.
On many contracts workers are obliged to take any shifts offered, often on short notice, meaning it is not possible…
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