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2014 National Women's Conference
9 October 2013

Conference deeply concerned at the improper use of Zero Hours contracts throughout the employment sectors. Employers are targeting workers via health and social care settings, education, hotel services and many more work areas, to use these contracts as a means of reducing costs and maximising profits.

However, they are disproportionately affecting women workers and their families and communities, inevitably increases demands on social, health and housing services, food banks and CABs.

Some evidence clearly suggests that employers are using these contracts unlawfully and discriminatingly, as an easy means of removing employees with health and disability issues from the workplace. Zero hours contracts are being imposed on such individuals (as an alternative to redundancy), but the employee is subsequently never contacted for work.

Such tactics do not benefit either the employer, who loses any respect and confidence and commitment within the workforce, and those employees are left in an insecure state of perpetual limbo, constantly waiting on the next phone call, unable to make any family or financial commitments, other than the very short term.

Conference condemns the use of zero hours contracts in all sectors of employment and calls on the National Women’s Committee to recommend to UK and Scottish Government that legislation be introduced to set low limits in the use of zero hours contracts within workplaces.

Submitted by Scottish Region