General Election 2017: Labour announces plans to ban zero-hours contracts and unpaid internships

Helen Cahill
Follow Helen
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell Delivers His Keynote Speech To Labour Party Conference
Zero-hours contracts have come under criticism after a parliamentary investigation into Sports Direct (Source: Getty)

The Labour Party has today announced plans to ban zero-hours contracts and unpaid internships.

As part of a set of 20 policies aimed at ending the "rigged economy" at work, Labour wants to guarantee a certain number of working hours for employees each week.

Read more: Despite recent bloopers, the polls have got it right on Corbyn

The party said it wanted to outlaw unpaid internships because "it’s not fair for some to get a leg up when others can’t afford to".

Other key policies include:

  • Guaranteeing trade unions a right to enter workplaces
  • Raising the minimum wage
  • Ending the pay cap in the public sector
  • Ensuring takeover plans have provisions to protect workers
  • A maximum pay ratio of 20:1 in the public sector and in companies bidding for contracts in the public sector

Zero-hours contracts have come under intense scrutiny this year after a working practices scandal at Sports Direct.

MPs investigating working conditions at Sports Direct's Shirebrook warehouse concluded it was being run like a "Victorian workhouse" and demanded improvements from chief executive Mike Ashley.

Read more: Labour minister Barry Gardiner caught out with Remain campaign sticker

After a year of trying to improve practices, the agency providing workers to Shirebrook, Transline, is on the brink of collapse due to squeezed margins.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: “These policies will be the cornerstone of the next Labour government’s programme to bring an end to the rigged economy that many experience in workplaces across Britain.

“The scandal of six million people earning less than the living wage, and four million children growing up in poverty are not inevitable. It only takes a change of government to bring these outrages to an end."

Related articles