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Labour to tackle zero hour contracts head on

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British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband
British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband
British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband

In a labour government,workers on zero-hours contracts will be able to demand a regular contract after 12 weeks under proposals set to be announced by Ed Miliband.

The Labour leader will promise to outlaw “exploitative” zero-hours contracts in a commitment to be included in Labour’s election manifesto.

The proposal strengthens Labour’s previous policy on the contracts, which sought to give workers the right to a regular contract after 12 months reported Sky News.

spokesman for the party leader said the change back to 12 weeks would incorporate 92% of people on the controversial employment terms.

The proposal is expected to include exemptions for employees such as so-called bank nurses, who request a zero-hours contract so they can work at another hospital as well as their usual job.

The Coalition Government sought to prohibit exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts, but the Labour Party argues this does not go far enough.

The announcement comes after Prime Minister David Cameron admitted that he could not live on a zero-hours contract during questioning from Jeremy Paxman

Mr Miliband is expected to say zero-hours contracts have become a symbol of a low-wage, low-skill economy.

In reference to Mr Paxman’s interview with the Prime Minister, the Labour leader will say: “If Cameron can’t live on it, nor should you – Labour will give workers a legal right to a regular contract, not a zero-hours contract.

“Today I can announce that in our first year of government after the election, Labour will legislate for a new principle: If you are working regularly, you have a legal right to a regular contract.”

But a Conservative spokesperson has accused Labour of “presiding over zero-hours contracts” for 13 years.