Justin Madders, Labour MP for Ellesmere Port & Neston has revealed that there has not been a single Employment Tribunal claim submitted under new rules, which David Cameron boasted would signal an end to exploitative zero-hours contract during the 2015 election campaign.
The news comes as the Business, Skills and Innovation Committee accused Sports Direct of employing “working practices closer to that of a Victorian workhouse than that of a modern, reputable High Street retailer.”
The measure was quickly branded as “toothless” by employment Lawyers after it was introduced and it was claimed that the ban was not backed by any enforcement measures, leaving zero-hours workers with no way of taking action against employers who break its terms.
In response to a Written Question submitted by Mr Madders, the Justice Minister, Sir Oliver Heald MP confirmed that there have been no claims made under the Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hours Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015 between its introduction on 11 January 2016 and 31 March 2016.
Commenting, Mr Madders said:
“During the last election campaign, the Tories promised workers that they were serious about tackling exploitative working practices but it seems like yet again there is no substance to back up the headlines. It is clear that these new rules are just a sop to create the impression they are trying to tackle the issue when in reality the Tories are content for this exploitation to continue.
“The BIS Committee report on Sports Direct shines a light on the appalling circumstances facing many workers in this country. The fact is that by failing to introduce meaningful regulations, the Conservatives have created the environment that has allowed these practices to flourish.
“Other Tory policies, such as the introduction of Employment Tribunal Fees have also undoubtedly contributed to a climate where poor employers feel that they have free reign to exploit their workforce with impunity.
“On her first day in office, Theresa May promised to tackle “burning injustice.” If she is serious, she needs to act now and get a grip on these scandalous practices.”
A link to Justin’s PQ can be found here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-07-13/42650/