Criticism over changes to zero-hour contracts

The Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU) has criticised the changes announced regarding zero-hours contracts.

The new policy announced by the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety was presented as an attempt to fix the exploitative use of zero-hour contracts.

However, according to the SFWU the policy doesn’t ban zero hour work contracts, it basically means that zero-hour contracts have to be agreed to by both parties.

SFWU national secretary John Ryall says the changes are a move in the wrong direction. Rather than protecting workers, the new policy will make it harder to challenge zero-hours contracts.

Mr Ryall says, “They’re essentially making zero-hours lawful. They’re planning to enshrine in law the employers ability to guarantee no hours if agreed to at the beginning of employment.”

Labour leader Andrew Little has joined the chorus of criticism directed at the new policy saying rather than outlaw exploitative zero-hour contracts, the Government has done the exact opposite and entrenched them in law.

Mr Little says, “National promised to get rid of zero hour contracts. It hasn’t. It has just made new rules for how to use them. They are confusing, muddled and will make no real difference to vulnerable workers.”