On the day the minority Conservative government was crowing that it had cut unemployment to the lowest level since the early 1970s, a study has shown that Tory employment policies are putting people through hell.
Rules imposed on the Department for Work and Pensions by the Tories mean that jobseekers must accept any job they are offered, including those with flexible-hours contracts. These may offer as little as a single hour of work per week but that is enough for a person to count as employed, in Tory figures.
The National Living Wage is currently £7.50 an hour, if you’re outside London – clearly nowhere near enough money to survive for a week. So people have to claim Universal Credit – which, according to Tory rules, means they must seek extra working hours from their bosses if they’re not getting enough.
Evil, isn’t it?
It means people are being denied the dignity of properly-paid work.
It means they are having to beg employers for the privilege of working extra hours on subsistence wages.
And it means they are doing this so the toffs in the Conservative government can claim they have achieved full employment and the economy is going swimmingly thanks to them.
Lie upon lie upon lie.
Perhaps you should ask your Tory-voting neighbour why they voted to inflict misery on the working people of the UK. Do they know anybody affected by this terrifying Catch-22?
If so, why did they insist on inflicting it on us all?
Workers are being forced into low hour contracts that leave them ‘begging’ managers for additional hours in order to earn a living or accommodate childcare commitments.
These flexible contracts are having a negative impact on the home lives and mental health of an estimated 4.6 million people, and Cambridge and Oxford sociologists have described them as “toxic and endemic”.
Flexible hour contracts are when workers are given minimal guaranteed hours and can have last minute changes and reductions made to their agreed working hours. They are particularly common in supermarkets and care homes.
Often, people are employed under contracts that offer one, two or four hours a week, “under the assumption that they will get more hours”.
The study has shown that being given extra hours by managers leaves workers feeling “indebted” to their boss, and as a result they feel that they should work “extra hard”.
It appears that people are forced into these low hour contracts that lead to ‘heightened economic instability’ because there are no other alternatives.
Faced with unemployment or very short hour contracts, workers have no choice but to accept what little they are offered.
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