The Party’s North Belfast representative, Gemma Weir, has condemned the continued use of zero hours contracts and the Alliance Party’s support for them.
Around 30,000 people in Northern Ireland, many of them from North Belfast, are currently employed on Zero Hours Contracts.
“Despite the fact that these ‘contracts’ don’t guarantee any certainty of work, any guaranteed level of weekly pay and disregard a multitude of employment rights, the Assembly wants to keep them as a major feature of employment practice”, Gemma said.
Alliance won’t outlaw them “Alliance Minister for Employment, Stephen Farry, has refused to do away with zero hours contracts arguing instead that an outright ban would have “a disproportionate impact upon flexibility within the economy”.
That’s a lot easier to say when you are in full time employment and drawing a Ministerial salary than it is if you don’t know how much work you have from one week to the next or if you have no guaranteed level of regular earnings to pay your bills or plan for your future”, said Gemma
Low wage “Northern Ireland is being marketed worldwide as a low wage economy. Zero hours contracts erode employment rights, devalue employees and foster uncertainty and insecurity.
Zero hours contracts have no place in our employment practice and the Alliance Party has no right to use its Minister to protect them”, Gemma concluded.