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Fears over zero hours contracts in Brighton and Hove
A campaigner for the living wage has blasted city employers who use zerohour contacts.
But the owner of a cleaning firm said small businesses often have no other option.
A survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has revealed that a fifth of employers nationally had at least one person on a zero-hours contract, where hours are not guaranteed.
Tracey Allen, campaigns manager at Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce, said the contracts are open to abuse.
She said: “The Living Wage campaign promotes a consistent fair wage for all.
“The zero-hour contracts might be promoted as flexible earning for some types of employee but it is not a black and white policy and can lead to abuse.
“We know from research that consistent wages at a good rate of pay promote better wellbeing, security for families and confidence in both the business and the employee.
“Erratic income must be very difficult and stressful to manage on a month by month basis and I do not see many advantages except maybe for the minority such as students and some parents returning to work.
“In these cases as long as it is used fairly it can be an advantage. I do not see it as a long-termpositive step for general employment in the future.”
But Racheal Hughes, managing director at Green Mop in Coleridge Street, Hove, said almost all her workforce is on zero-hour contracts.
She said: “I would love to pay my staff more, give them all the hours they require and at times that are convenient to them and their family life.
“However, to be competitive and fair to our customers, we don’t tie our customers into a contract.
“So, effectively we are not guaranteed the business.”
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