Call to investigate zero-hour contracts used in St Albans district

St Albans City & District Council

St Albans City & District Council - Credit: Archant

The practice of controversial zero-hour contracts which are used by some of the district council’s contractors must be thoroughly investigated as a matter of urgency, an opposition councillor has said this week.

Figures disclosed by St Albans district council (SADC) show a handful of firms which provide services to the district are employing staff under conditions that give them no guarantee of work.

This includes car park operator NCP, which has one person working on a zero-hour contract in St Albans, ground maintenance contractors John O’Conner which has three rangers employed under the flexible terms and pest control contractors SDK Environmental.

The issue has been raised by Labour councillor Jacob Quagliozzi who has condemned zero-hour contracts and requested a full report on how these practices are used.

“Zero-hour contracts concern me because they allow employers to take on staff with no guarantee of work. Employees work only when they are needed and paid only for those hours; sick pay is often not included. It becomes almost impossible to plan your finances with any degree of certainty without knowing how many hours you’ll work next week.”

Cllr Quagliozzi added: “The portfolio holder’s job is to make sure public money is spent in a responsible and ethical way and he [Cllr Alec Campbell] needs to investigate further how these contracts are being used and ensure they are not exploitative.”