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End abuse of zero hours on security contracts

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

GMB calls for clients to act on abuse of zero and low hours contracts for workers in the security industry who work very long hours.

Contracted hours of work for security workers on these contracts should be deemed to be the average worked over the past 13 weeks in the same way as average hours are calculated under the Working Time directive says GMB.

GMB, the union for staff in the private security industry, is calling on private sector clients and public bodies who hold contracts with security companies to act to ends the abuse of  zero and low hours contracts for the vital staff who actually work very long hours to deliver security.

GMB is calling on client to change the terms of the contracts with security providers as the Tory Government is refusing to legislate to end this abuse.

The client contracts with providers should deem the contracted hours of work of any security worker to be the average worked over the past 13 weeks in the same way as average hours are calculated under the Working Time directive.

Alan Costello, Regional Organiser, said “Most employers in the security industry, including big household names, employ workers on contracts which either don't guarantee any work, or only commit to low numbers of hours. In reality working hours in the industry are regularly long, including weekend and night work.

GMB are seeing more and more members come with complaints of having hours unilaterally reduced, either as the result of re-organisations, demands from client companies or even as a result of a worker making a legitimate complaint about their employment.

In many cases GMB members work for years in stable jobs with regular hours, building their lives around this income. Because of low pay in the security sector many of our members work very long hours to maintain decent living standards.

But these iniquitous contracts mean that through no fault of their own hours can be cut and living standards significantly worsened without any legal recourse for the member.

Imagine you work as a contracted security worker for a major store. A complaint is made against you by a customer without any foundation, but the client store tells your employer they don't want you to work there anymore. Overnight, and with no right to state your case, you can lose a significant part of your income as your security company employer transfers you somewhere else where there are less hours available.

Even if you have been working the same hours for ten years, if your contract is zero hour, or maybe seven, ten, fifteen hours a week, then they only need to pay you in line with the hours in the contract.

We need to see a change which deems the contracted hours of work of any security worker to be the average worked over the past 13 weeks in the same way as average hours are calculated under the Working Time directive.

Imagine overnight that you find you cannot pay your rent, feed your children, perhaps you cannot pay for a holiday you have booked, or manage your debts. This is the reality that our members in the security industry face.

GMB is calling for public and private sector clients and the security industry to act to stop this wholesale exploitation of vital workers. It's time for security workers to be given the same rights as would be expected in so much of the economy - contracts with permanent hours.”

End

Contact: Alan Costello, GMB Organiser on 07974 250946 or Elly Baker, GMB Organiser on  07918 768 773 or Jude Brimble, GMB National Officer on 07850 974198 or GMB Press Office 07921 289 880 or 07974 251 823 

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