What is the future for zero hours contracts?

contractIssues surrounding employment and the economy are set to feature heavily in the run up to this year’s General Election and so the Chancellor must be extremely pleased by the continuing fall in the number of people out of work. The UK’s unemployment rate now stands at 5.8% of the working population, its lowest level for more than 6 years and represents a remarkable turnaround for the UK economy.

Yet data released recently by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) about zero hours contracts shows that many of the jobs being created are low paid and offer little job security.

Zero hours contracts are highly controversial because of the fact that they offer no guarantee of work. Those working in this way often have no idea how many hours, if any, they will be working next week and the lack of a regular wage packet makes budgeting and managing bills extremely difficult. Those working in this way are also more likely to come from groups that traditionally perform poorly in the labour market. So more than half of them are women, roughly a third are aged 16–24 and 6% are over 65. Continue reading

What can we do as women?

woman at deskAs we celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March in this a General Election year it is pertinent to ask, what can we do as women ?

First of all are you registered to vote? There is still time. It is less than 100 years since all women were given the vote in the UK. Please use your vote.

Secondly, out of 650 MP’s only 148 are women and there are only four women in a Cabinet of 23. Ask your candidates their views on this disparity and how they intend to work on influencing a fairer representation of women…..a representation that fairly reflects our population. Continue reading