Jim McGovern MP Calls for avoidance of "Race to Bottom" on Workers' Rights

6 August 2013

Jim McGovern MP for Dundee West today tabled an Early Day Motion calling for Government and employers to insure that workers rights are not slipping away through zero hours contracts.

Jim McGovern MP said, “These contracts force hundreds of thousands of workers and families to live month to month hoping that by chance they get the right amount of hours to pay for food, electricity and gas.

“This is exactly the type of short term mentality that has got the UK into many of the problems we face today. We need to ensure that this Government is not embarking on a Race to the Bottom with workers rights.

 Mr McGovern continued, “What we need from employers is to take an approach of investing in staff through training and apprenticeships while recognising workplace rights and employer obligations. 

“We need long term sustainable employment where a fair wage is being paid in order to have an economy that works for the majority not just a few.

 Mr McGovern concluded, “I look forward to my backbench colleague Andy Sawford bringing forward a Bill on this matter and working to end this practice which causes individuals and families unnecessary hardship.

“In Dundee the Government’s back to work programme has failed in getting people into employment.

“We cannot allow this fact to force more people into employment where to put it bluntly they don’t know how many hours they will be working in any given week.”

The text of Jim McGovern/s motion reads :

That this House calls on the Government to ensure that workers’ right are protected and that a ‘race to the bottom’ is avoided, and notes with great concern the large number of the workers in all sectors employed on zero hour contracts, it notes that while this flexibility can suit some workers on the whole it undermines employment, financial and family stability and raises grave doubts about employers’ commitment to the welfare of their employees, it also urges employers to invest in a stable and secure workforce whose skills and aspirations are recognised and encouraged through longer term contracts, training and proper observation of workplace rights.


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