Across Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom (UK), families are suffering a cost of living crisis. As the cost of everyday essentials such as food, gas, electricity and clothing soar, more and more people struggle to make ends meet.
The situation is made much worse for the millions of workers who are employed on zero hours contracts, with no guaranteed hours of work. These workers have no idea what their weekly or monthly pay will be. They are unable to plan ahead, budget or make concrete financial plans. Securing a mortgage, tenancy or credit is almost impossible.
The lack of a regular work routine impacts on caring responsibilities and family time. It leaves them open to last minute changes of shifts, with employers reducing or increasing hours with little notice. All round it makes life more difficult for employees, workers and their families.
But zero hours contracts are also bad for employers. They make it more difficult to retain staff, who are likely to become demoralise and leave for more regular, secure, perhaps better paid work. All of this is bad for business. All the evidence shows that having a secure job, with good terms and conditions improves working relations, creates an atmosphere of mutual respect and loyalty and increases productivity. There are no losers when companies employ people in a fair and just way.
Unity Consulting Scotland was set up a year ago as a not-for-profit, social enterprise to work with community groups, trade unions and voluntary organisations who campaign for social and economic justice. We are delighted to be working with Zero Hours Justice to extend the reach of the campaign in Scotland. What Zero Hours Justice is trying to achieve aligns with our values and our beliefs. We want to see a society where everyone is valued equally. Where no one goes hungry or cold. Where every citizen can live a life free of poverty, low pay and insecurity. Where employees are valued and respected with a legally secure contract, regular hours and fair terms and conditions. A society where we can all contribute to making our communities secure, happy and content.
Over the coming weeks and months we will be encouraging employers to ditch zero hours contracts and to register for Zero Hours Justice accreditation. By doing so, we will promote and celebrate employers who take this positive step. If you are one of the millions of workers on zero hours contracts and need advie, you can contact Zero Hours Justice' helpline on 01904 900 151. If you are an employer who wants help and advice on accreditation, then please get in touch with Chris Peace at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the accreditation website.
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