Zero Contracts VS Part and full Time Employment

photo1Recent there has been a sudden flux of zero contracts that has come to the forefront. I have to declare a conflict of interest I have been on one but found it to be very uncomfortable as it does not guarantee full time employment. Most companies’ big, middle and small uses the contract both to recruit unemployed and short term solutions to fill a gap until their companies position improves during the small growth in the economy.

photo 2Some of the worst offenders are recruitment agencies as they do not have to go out of their way to find you employment due to the fact that some of the recruiting agencies are going to administration and they have either one or no client on their books. Funny enough medium and large recruitment agencies say that lots of vacancies when you register with them then you wait and you get fed up and decide to give them a call they say to you we don’t have anything in that field or you don’t meet the client’s criteria when an individual challenge them on what are the criteria there is not a decent reply from the agencies.

fuckoffIntriguingly the coalition says that they don’t create employment but it’s the private sectors that create employment. Hmm am I missing something here, how many of us recall David Cameron traveling to the Middle East with a delegation of arm dealers to sell weapons to their counterparts is he not creating employment on behalf of the UK government. Oh let us not forget the recent trip to China where George Osbourne and Boris Johnson promoted UK business and relaxing the visa to Chinese business people to enter to the UK. It’s about time that the coalition stop using the one size fits all approach.

photoThe coalition continues state that they have created jobs in the private sector somehow many people see those the jobs that the coalition talks about. If this was true then the so-called jobs are based on part time and zero contract. Yet the coalition alleges that unemployment is going down somehow the figures don’t add up as the Job Centre Plus are being pressurized to bring down the figures so what does the Job Centre Plus to address this by sending unemployed to other providers for two years to bring down the numbers on the bases they are paid by results so in a nutshell if you don’t get someone into training or employment the company will not get paid so much for pay by result.

Many of my friends and foes continue to banter they were employed by a conservative or a Labour government but was made redundant, or loss their jobs by the company they worked for under a coalition. There is a common trend or ring to this that both Conservatives and LibDems which includes Labour failed to address so in a nutshell I blame BOTH the present and previous governments which I made no apology for stating an opinion that I strongly believe in.

For another debate on Zero Contract see Youtube:

The contracts do not guarantee work from one week to the next.

But the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said just over half of the 456 zero-hours workers it questioned did not want more hours.

It added, however, there was a need to improve poor practice such as notice periods given when work is cancelled.

Only about a third of the 1,000 employers questioned had a contractual provision or formal policy outlining their approach to arranging and cancelling work for zero-hours workers.

The CIPD added many employers and zero-hours staff were unaware of the employment rights they may be entitled to.

The survey found four out of five respondents on zero-hours contracts said they were never penalised if they were unavailable for work.

But 40% of workers subject to the contracts said they had shifts cancelled without notice and the CIPD is recommending that compensation be paid in such a situation.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, said: “The use of zero-hours contracts in the UK economy has been underestimated, oversimplified and in some cases, unfairly demonised.”

In total, researchers spoke to 2,500 workers on both zero-hours and regular contracts.

The CIPD said zero-hours contracts, which are widely used in fields including catering, leisure, retail and the public sector, provide flexibility for workers and employers.

Some 38% of those on zero-hours contracts wanted more hours but when compared to the average UK employee, they are just as satisfied with their job.

Only 58% of UK employees said there were happy with their work-life balance, compared to 65% of those on zero-hours contracts.

The study confirmed the CIPD’s previous estimate that around a million people are on zero-hours contracts.

Steve Radley, director of policy at manufacturers’ organisation EEF, said: “The debate on zero-hours contracts has become unbalanced and needs greater focus on the benefits it can bring to both workers and employers.

“With skills in scarce supply, zero hours help employers to tap into specialist skills when they are needed and to draw on the experience of older workers.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Whilst not every employee on a zero hours contract is exploited, this survey shows that job insecurity and low pay are concerns for a significant number of workers, including white collar staff.

“The real problems lie with bosses who aren’t interested in good practice and are more concerned with squeezing staff to boost their profit margins.

“That’s why we need legislative action to stamp out the growing abuse of workers on zero hours contracts and other forms of insecure work.”

Shadow trade minister Ian Murray said Labour would outlaw the exploitative use of zero-hours contracts.

He said the research highlighted concerns on bad practice and exploitation.

The government is to launch a consultation on how to tackle abuses in zero hours contracts but the CIPD says efforts should be focused on improving understanding of how the contracts are used within the law rather than trying to restrict their use through regulation.

Let’s revisit the the late 1970s to the present time over the full, part, and temporary employment.

What is the the legacy of Margaret Thatcher

The 1980s is increasingly being seen as deep history – 50% of the Datablog team were born in the late 1980s and were just toddling into school when she resigned in November 1990.

If the past is a foreign country (they do things differently there), there is nowhere more foreign than May 1979, when the Conservatives entered Downing Street. In fact, it’s getting increasingly difficult to tell – many of the datasets we rely on now weren’t compiled until the early 1990s. So what kind of Britain did the country’s first woman prime minister come to rule in 1979 – and how has it changed?

These are some of the datasets which actually go back that far – mostly from the Office for National Statistics, and some from the excellent British Political Facts.

She may or may not have caused it, but Britain under Thatcher saw huge economic, demographic and cultural change. These are just some of the facts

The UK was a smaller country then – 56.2m people lived here, compared to 62.3m people in 2010. That had been pretty stagnant since 1970, actually going down for four years before 1979 as the economy faltered. During the first years of Thatcher’s reign, fewer people came to live in the UK – acceptances for settlement went down from 69,670 in 1979 to 53,200 by the time she resigned in 1990. Since then, the economy has boomed and eastern European countries have joined the EU. In fact, for much of the decade there were more people leaving the UK than coming here. Now it is the reverse. Net migration now is at a record high.

The population has changed too. There are no accurate figures for the UK’s ethnic breakdown before the 1991 census, so we can’t say what Britain’s ethnic mix was. By the 2001 census, four years after the end of the Conservatives in power, the UK’s population was 92.1% white. According to the latest ONS estimates, that figure has gone down now as Britain becomes more diverse; 83.35% of England and Wales is now defined as “white British”.

We’re living longer – life expectancy overall went up from 70.3 for men and 76.4 for women in 1979 by three years for both sexes by 1990. In a developed country, life expectancy should go up as medicine improves and the economy grows. But in 1985 it went down briefly, as it did again in 1993, both after huge recessions.

There are more of the super-old around now. Some 15% of babies born in 1979 would live to reach 100 – that figure is 26% now.

Ironically for a prime minister who focussed so much on family life, the 1980s saw the end of the traditional family unit for many. Divorce rates reached 13.4 per 1,000 married population in 1985, although that wasn’t as high as the peak of 1994 after the recession. They have gone down now. The most recent figures show that 119,589 people got divorced in 2010, roughly half of the number of people who got married the same year.

Of course, fewer people are getting married now – only 231,490 in the latest year, down from 368,853 in 1979, which was the highest figure since the war brides of 1940.

Which also means less babies being born to a traditional family unit too – in 1979, only 12.5% of babies were born outside marriage. By 1991 that had gone up to 29.8%.

As Britain learnt to come to terms with the idea of “no such thing as society”, unemployment shot up under the Conservatives to levels not seen since the Great Depression. The figures show how it lags behind the economy – even after the recession was over, many were unemployed.

Britain got hit by two major recessions under Thatcher, which sandwiched the boom of the 1980s but even that boom never saw GDP grow by more than a couple of percent. Obviously in 2013, George Osborne would kill for growth of 2.2%.

If the deficit is the obsession of this government, in 1979 it was inflation, which had rocketed into the twenties in the 1970s.

The figures show how it went down under the Conservatives – after a struggle as it rose to 21% in the 1980s – decreases which largely continued under Labour and have only just started to reverse.

Perceived wisdom is also that manufacturing disappeared under Thatcher. If so, it was something that had already started. In 1970, manufacturing accounted for 20.57% of UK GDP. By 1979 that was down to 17.62% of GDP. By the time she left office, that decline had continued – albeit at a slightly slower pace, down to 15.18%. Now it is much lower, according to the ONS – down to 9.68% in 2010.

Thatcher never tried the scale of austerity cuts facing the UK coalition government now. In fact if you look at spending as a percentage of GDP it actually rose in her first years of power, going down during the 1980s before rising in the early 1990s under John Major and chancellor Kenneth Clarke. Her reign actually ended with more of the workforce employed in the public sector than now – 23.1% as opposed to around 20% now.

She may have been our first prime minister but men still ended her decade paid a lot more than women – especially if you look at the bald figures below.

However, if you change it and look at women’s full-time pay as a percentage of male full time pay it shows women working full time in 1990 paid 76% male full-time pay – up from 73%. It has improved since then – in 2011 it was 84.8%.

One of the defining features of the 1980s was the rise of the house price economy, especially with the sales of council houses.

At the same time, interest rates rose to record levels of 17% and repossessions rose to match.

In 1991, 75,500 properties were repossesed, the peak, and 186,649 cases reached the courts.

The unions were a major force in 1970s Britain, with around one in four of the UK population a member – 13.2m people. Those numbers went down significantly by 1990 to 9.8m – and in 2008/9 to 7.4m or one in eight of the population.

At the same time days lost to industrial disputes shot down too – from around 900,000 a month when Thatcher became prime minister to 183,000 in November 1990 – albeit with millions of days lost in the miner’s strike.

Poverty went up under Thatcher, according to these figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies. In 1979, 13.4% of the population lived below 60% of median incomes before housing costs. By 1990, it had gone up to 22.2%, or 12.2m people, with huge rises in the mid-1980s.

With it came a huge rise in inequality. This shows the gini coefficient, which is the most common method of measuring inequality. Under gini, a score of one would be a completely unequal society; zero would be completely equal. Britain’s gini score went up from 0.253 to 0.339 by the time Thatcher resigned.

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