My column in the Morley Observer & Advertiser

About this time last year, I met a Morley labourer, David, who told me his concerns about bogus self-employment. This is when work is ‘disguised’ as self-employment so their employer avoids paying national insurance, holiday pay and sick pay.

David told me how rife the practice was and how many local tradesmen were affected. I called for a review of this kind of practice so that tax payers aren’t being fiddled out of the tax that should be paid.

Of course we have to protect genuine self-employment; our plumbers, electricians and builders who work for themselves. But at the moment some big companies, working on roads, or other infrastructure projects, are using contractual arrangements to avoid paying tax and to undermine the terms and conditions for their workers. And that’s not on.

Now we learn there has also been a huge increase in people working on zero-hours contracts. These are contracts where employers decide how many hours someone works each week and the employee is paid for the hours they work. Unlike normal jobs, there’s no contracted full time or part time hours. Someone might work 40 hours one week and 24 the next.

Just in this area, thousands are working with this kind of contract. It puts a real strain on working families and cause huge anxiety and uncertainty. Each week they don’t know whether there will be enough work to feed their kids or pay for childcare.

I want to see this issue looked at properly and action taken so that these kinds of contracts are the exception rather than the rule. It’s no way for Britain to compete in the global economy in the 21st century. Anyone who’s affected and wants me to look into their case should get in touch by emailed ed@edballs.com or call 0113 253 9466.

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Posted August 7th, 2013 by Ed's team