POLITICS: LABOUR TO END ZERO-HOURS CONTRACTS IN PUBLIC SECTOR

   Vale of Leven from the air. Picture by Craig Jump of Turkey Red Media. Top: Dumbarton by Sean Davenport.

By Rory Murphy

Scottish Labour announced it will seek to end the use of zero-hours contracts in public sector procurement and has proposed a ‘Better Business Scotland’ scheme to support Scotland’s economic recovery.

As part of a National Recovery Plan for Jobs, released this week, the party has called for a guarantee that no publicly procured contract uses zero-hours based labour under any circumstances.

The current ‘Fair Work First’ rules over public procurement only preclude the ‘inappropriate’ use of zero-hours contracts – leaving the door open to zero-hours being used by companies benefiting from public procurement.

Jackie Baillie, left, is committed to preventing any public sector procurement work going to companies that use zero-hours contracts.

In order to help promote good work principles, Scottish Labour will propose a ‘Better Business Scotland’ certification scheme.

The scheme will provide recognition to businesses if they:
 
•             Do not use zero hours contracts.
•             Pay the Scottish Living Wage
•             Produce a clear carbon reduction plan or commit to net zero.

Jackie Baillie has said that Scottish Labour is committed to putting fairness and good work values at the heart of Scotland’s economic recovery.

Jackie Baillie said:  “Alongside the tragic death toll that this pandemic has caused we have taken an economic hit harder and deeper than the banking crisis.

“We need to put a jobs recovery at the heart of our plan for a national recovery from the pandemic.

“But we need to make sure that our economic recovery is based on fairness and good work – we cannot go back to the inequalities and the broken economic model pre-covid.

“We should bring an end to the use of zero-hours contracts by companies that benefit from public funds and establish a ‘Better Business Scotland’ certification scheme to promote good work principles.

“Scotland deserves better than the inequalities of the past. Scottish Labour will fight for an economic recovery with fairness at its heart.”

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