Zero-hour contracts damage your health

A recent report by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that zero-hour contracts or flexible working generally can have a damaging effect on a worker’s mental health, causing anxiety and other stress related disorders.

A fast food worker in Wales describes the stresses and strains of this exploitative practice.

“Having been on a zero-hour contract myself and worked with others on them I can confirm the findings of the report from first-hand experience.

Not knowing if you will get enough hours and earn enough money from one week to the next in order to pay bills and buy food causes high stress levels for a worker and their family if they have one.

You live with a constant feeling of insecurity and have no chance of relaxing when you could be called in at a moment’s notice or risk being fired.

While some workers will prefer to be on a flexible contract, low wage, insecure zero-hour contracts with very little employment rights should be scrapped.

Workers who opt for flexibility should be guaranteed a minimum number of hours each week and should play a far greater part in deciding when to work their hours with their boss.

A trade union body should be set up to ensure this process is not abused by employers.”

Fast Food Rights – International Day of Protest, 15 May.

Involving industrial action by low paid workers in the USA and protests organised by campaigners in the UK including the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union and Youth Fight For Jobs (YFJ).