There’s nothing good about the rise in zero-hours contracts – ban them now says Peter Fleming

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There’s nothing good about the rise in zero-hours contracts – ban them now

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‘Zero-hours contracts are part of a broader ideological system in which the veneer of economic rationality is deployed to hide indefensible inequalities and eye-watering levels of wealth.’ Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

I was recently asked why anyone would have a problem with zero-hours contracts. After all, they make perfect sense, the person argued. People get paid for exactly what they do. And for the time to do it. Anyone who questioned that principle is implying some of us should be paid for nothing.

What’s more, in our dynamic and swiftly moving economy, the number of hours that an employer requires can ebb and flow over a week, a day – even during a five-hour shift. Sometimes a bar, for example, might be heaving. Other times empty. It would be unreasonable on that basis to expect businesses to promise fixed hours to its workforce.

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