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Murphy in bid to put zero-hours contracts on agenda

Mr Miliband has repeatedly said he will clamp down on zero-hours contracts if he becomes Prime Minister and Mr Murphy said he would ensure they are binned once and for all if Labour formed the next Westminster Government.

There are 84,000 proud Scots who are too often forced into zero hour contracts, he said. Too many are left worried about whether they will have enough work and wages to be able to put food on the table from one week to the next. Many are blocked from getting credit they can afford and turn to extortionate pay day loans. Its no way to treat people who want to work hard and get on in life.

When working families prosper Scotland prospers, when people have decent pay and conditions they spend more and Scotlands economy grows. Thats the way to build a fairer Scotland.

A spokesman for Deputy First Minister John Swinney said that despite Mr Blairs pledge at his Brighton conference speech in 1995, use of zero-hours contracts had increased under his premiership. He also pointed to reports that Labour-run councils and MPs were employing workers with no guarantees of work.

He added: By contrast, there are no people on zero hours contracts within the direct employment of the Scottish Government. Banning the inappropriate use of zero hours contracts would require the Scottish Parliament to have powers over employment law, which is currently reserved to Westminster and which Labour refused to consider devolving as part of the Smith Commission process.

The Scottish Government is doing what it can within the powers available to it to tackle the inappropriate use of zero hours contracts, which will include issuing statutory guidance under the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 on how workforce-related matters should be considered when assessing the suitability of a company to bid for public contracts.

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