The ONS today revealed that far more companies than previously thought are employing people using controversial Zero-pay contracts. Unlike traditional contracts, Zero-pay contracts do not guarantee workers any payment for the hours they have worked.
Employment minister Esther McVey says this sort of innovative thinking is vital for getting people back in the workforce. “This is a great way of combatting the entitlement culture in the UK where people think its acceptable not to be able to find work,” said McVey. “These layabouts need to get the message that they can’t wait around for some dream job that pays as well as employs.”
People employed on these contracts say they are excited by the opportunities provided to them. “These jobs should be seen as stepping stones,” says Tom Whyatt. “Today I’m not being payed for stacking shelves, but next week I’ll probably be flying in my private learjet to meetings with clients in New York city. That’s the way it works these days apparently.”
Ed Miliband has said that if Labour come to power he will seek to end the practice of zero-pay contracts. “I cant believe I even have to say this but you really should have to pay people for doing jobs,” said the Labour leader. “I feel like I shouldn’t even have to come out against this. Am I being crazy?”
Business organisations have called Milibands proposals ‘crazy’ and are donating heavily to the conservatives in protest. “This man is clearly delusional,” says Carl Smith of the Downtrodden Employers Union. “The economy will be completely unable to function if we are required to pay people any sum of money for the work they do. Punishing the wealth creators in this harsh business environment is just obscene.”