Zero-hour contracts cause bullying in the workplace, says expert

A jobs expert has claimed that zero-hour contracts can cause bullying in the workplace.

James Lazou, researcher officer at Unite (the UK’s largest union), said that the job insecurity which comes with the contracts can be the cause of the bullying – as well as other issues, such as stress and harassment.

The contracts mean employers can legally not offer employees any working hours per week. Some managers claim this offers flexibility to both the employer and employee, however Mr Lazour argues against this. He told hrmagazine.co.uk: “The assertions that this flexibility benefits both employers and employees equally are at best deeply naive.”

Mr Lazou also claims the contracts can cause exploitation of workers, adding: “In low paying sectors, such as the docks, retail, catering and social care, where such precarious work is increasingly becoming the norm, these arrangements serve to trap workers in poverty and exploitation.”

The statements could persuade some workers who are looking for jobs in London or the rest of the UK to avoid roles which come with such contracts. Former Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman, Lord Oakeshott, also agreed with Mr Lazou’s views, saying that a zero-hours workforce was leading to a zero-rights Britain in the workplace.

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics found that the number of workers on zero-hour contracts had nearly doubled in the last to years, now nearly reaching 200,000, according to telegraph.co.uk.  

by Samantha Bartlett on May 28, 2013

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