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Iain Lees-Galloway on the end of zero hour contracts

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, March 11th, 2016 - 37 comments
Categories: greens, labour, maori party - Tags: , , ,

As Iain said congratulations to everyone with a special thanks to:

  • The Unite Union
  • The Council of Trade Unions
  • The Green Party
  • New Zealand First
  • Marama Fox
  • Even Peter Dunne
  • Even Michael Woodhouse who reached out and shifted when it was needed.

37 comments on “Iain Lees-Galloway on the end of zero hour contracts ”

  1. Allyson 1

    I work happily on a zero hours contract as I am not the main breadwinner in my family. Could my employer now be punished in a court of law? Will I be forced underground to continue my quest to provide a little extra for my family. This was a means of creating jobs, from an embryo to a fulltime job. Sometimes little jobs get bigger, and sometime people just like to work a couple of hours evry other week for some extra dosh. Sometimes people can get a bit silly heh!

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      I work happily on a zero hours contract as I am not the main breadwinner in my family.

      So, you’ve got enough certainty in your life that it doesn’t matter that you get exploited.

      This was a means of creating jobs, from an embryo to a fulltime job. Sometimes little jobs get bigger, and sometime people just like to work a couple of hours evry other week for some extra dosh.

      Most of the zero hours contracts don’t. They’re just a way for the business to shift all the expense onto to the employee without covering for that expense thus more profits for the bludging owners.

      Sometimes people can get a bit silly heh!

      You’re showing definite signs of doing so.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        “Most of the zero hours contracts don’t. They’re just a way for the business to shift all the expense onto to the employee without covering for that expense thus more profits for the bludging owners.”

        Yip. It means a company can hire 9 people on zero-hours contracts, instead of 4 on full-time contracts. That way they can play them off against each other to compete for shifts, and ensures they’ll stay in live behaviourally because they know if they step out of line they may have their shifts reduced even further. It also gives the company much more cover from absence due to sick leave or annual leave.

      • Rosie 1.1.2

        +1 Draco.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Why aren’t you on a Casual Contract?

      • Andre 1.2.1

        The difference being that on a casual contract you are not on call and free to turn down offered hours, whereas zero-hours you are on call and must work if the employer wants you?

        • You_Fool

          So that means a casual contract would be better for OP since they want to have flexibility. 0 hr contracts were never for them anyway as it didn’t do what they thought it did.

        • Lanthanide


          I can’t see why someone would voluntarily be on a zero-hours contract instead of a casual contract.

          So I can only assume anyone who is on a zero-hours contract is being taken advantage of by their employer.

          • Cricklewood

            They’re almost one and the same. In some industries they replaced ‘casual’ contracts as a response to court rulings around casuals and when you can pay leave as you go at 8%.
            Basically a zero hours contract was/is an easy way for an employer to avoid any issues with the somewhat vague ‘rules’ around casuals.
            The few i have seen have been ok in that they stipulate that you are under no obligation to be available for work if called. The main difference was that leave was accrued rather than pay as you go.
            As with all these things they can work well in some circumstances for some people however they are quickly adopted and used as tool to control/punish a work force by scumbag employers.
            Then all you are left with is banning them to protect the most vulnerable.

    • The Chairman 1.3

      Your employer will now have to give you 1 or more set hours. Saving you from putting your life on hold and being on call for the rest of the week with no guarantee of work.

      But it still leaves room for flexibility for you and your employer.

      • You_Fool 1.3.1

        Or be on a casual contract, which gives the OP what they actually want and always did. As far as I know casual contracts have not been touched

        • The Chairman

          Employers were citing casual contracts as a way of getting away with zero hours, thus the legislation extends to casual contracts.

          • Lanthanide

            Are you sure?

            • The Chairman


              • Lanthanide

                Ok, so all existing casual contracts are now going to have to have 1 hour permanent work a week?

                • McFlock

                  Only if the “casual” contracts already require the employee to be available to work without reasonable compensation.

                  • Lanthanide

                    I had a quick read of the bill earlier, the compensation stuff only applies if the employee is expected to work and doesn’t have the opportunity to turn down any given shift.

                    Casual contracts are casual on both sides – an employee can turn down any shift they want. That’s not the same as a 0-hours contract.

                • The Chairman

                  At the least. Otherwise they’re zero hour contracts.

                    • The Chairman

                      As McFlock highlighted above, a number of so-called casual contracts have availability expectations.

                      Under the new legislation employees can refuse to perform work (in addition to any guaranteed hours specified) if their agreement does not contain an availability provision that provides reasonable compensation.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Right, so this doesn’t extend to all casual contracts like you claimed – it extends to any contract that has availability requirements but does not have a minimum number of guaranteed hours.

                    • The Chairman

                      I stated that employers were citing they were/are casual contracts, thus it extends to them.

                      In doing so, employees can now refuse work, fitting within the definition – casual on both sides.

                    • Lanthanide

                      A Casual Contract has a specific legal definition. Whether employers are calling something a casual contract is rather irrelevant to what a Casual Contract actually is – which is one that specifically allows an employee to reject any offered work with no consequence.

                      Hence, this bill doesn’t make any difference to Casual Contracts. It may make a difference to contracts that employers (or others) erroneously call Casual Contracts.

                    • The Chairman

                      Are you implying there is a loophole?

                      Labour stated they wanted to remove the ability of employers to put people on contracts where they are on-call with no permanent hours.

                      The new legislation now allows workers to reject work with no consequence. Effectively meeting the definition of a casual contract.

    • Rosie 1.4

      Lucky for you you’re not the main breadwinner in the house Allyson. Many people on zero hours contracts are responsible for the rent/mortgage and all living costs. That’s an extremely stressful situation for a person to be in when they are faced with such insecurity in their work. They can’t get the work that their employer leads them to believe they will get, then the employee starts getting into debt just to meet basic living expenses. How is that fair or right?

      I’m just wondering if you know the difference between casual contracts and zero hour contracts – have a look at what Lanthanide has to say to you.
      Your employer and yourself will not be disadvantaged by you being on a casual contract. As long as you have an agreement for minimum hours worked each week or fortnight, using your example above, then that’s fine. You have nothing to fear if your employer is behaving responsibly.

      Things might be sweet for you but consider the damage and exploitation that has occurred for people who are bound by zero hour contracts – you know, thinking of others, that thing that NZer’s once knew how to do.

      The move to make zero hours unlawful has been a big step forward in NZ’s exploitative job market. I don’t why you would find this silly.

      • The Chairman 1.4.1

        “Then the employee starts getting into debt”

        Those on zero hours would find it difficult obtaining credit with no fixed or guaranteed hours, thus secure revenue stream.

        • Rosie

          That’s exactly right Chairman. In terms of securing credit, Lees Galloway refers to obtaining a home loan in his speech, and that guaranteed hours will be helpful for that but there’s still a way to go in practical terms before employees settle into some sort of sense of financial security. A home loan will still be quite a way down the track for many.

          I’ve heard of people in precarious work resorting to loan sharks, if they are unable to obtain a credit card. This of course is even worse. We’ve all seen the rise in pay day loan companies – surely their success is in part due to low wages and insecure hours. They are feeding off the most vulnerable.

          Some people may have already have credit cards before they had a change in circumstances and can use that existing card. There’s many of us that have been shunted rudely down the employment ladder, finding our conditions, work security and pay shrivelling over the years. So lucky if you had a credit card in better times but tough it you never had it in the first place.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Those on zero hours would find it difficult obtaining credit with no fixed or guaranteed hours, thus secure revenue stream.

          Wouldn’t count on that. Predatory lenders are still about even though I think that this government did something to tighten up the rules.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.5

      So zero hours contracts are all about helping working people?

      I reject your “help”. It’s making everything worse.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 1.6

      Will I be forced underground to continue my quest to provide a little extra for my family?

      I dunno do you normally do illegal shit as part of your life – you know like cash jobs with tradesman, lying to Work and Income about how much you earn to get childcare subsidy and a community services card, claim insurance for stolen/damaged property when you shouldn’t.

      Are you going to join some sort of anti-government resistance movement or maybe work as a foreign country intelligence mole (moles mainly work underground), is someone going to drag you kicking and screaming into the sewers. Will the dungeon master in the sewers have a six sided or eight sided die, will your quest have dragons?
      Will the little extra be a baby, a midget or a dwarf. My bad it’s a quest so it has to be a dwarf.

      These are all serious question that need to be answered.

  2. Rosie 2

    Nice speech. Iain Lees Galloway has become a seasoned politician in the years since he came to Parliament. Working the beard too.

    PS: Allyson, you should have a listen. It will help you understand some things. Seriously. Give it a go.

  3. whateva next? 3

    NZ leading the way it did with getting the woman’s vote, zero hour contracting proliferating in UK….what?

  4. miravox 4

    Well done to the National party’s puppet support parties, who finally called time on government policies affecting core constituencies, at least this one time.

    Well done Iain Lees-Galloway and the Labour Party for using this lack of support as an opportunity to negotiate a bill that eliminated zero hours. Also The Greens and NZ First.

    Well done Mike Treen and Unite and the CTU for providing a great example of the worth of a re-modelled union movement.

    And a well-deserved bloody nose for a manipulative, destructive government. The axing of Campbell Live specifically, which took up the baton on this issue, and demise of broadcasting in the public interest generally, are egregious examples.

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