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Ed Miliband pledges stricter controls on zero-hour contracts

Labour leader Ed Miliband will pledge stricter controls on zero-hour contracts across the UK today, as he unveils the findings of a party-commissioned review into the controversial working practice.

A Labour-commissioned review conducted by Norman Pickavance, former HR director for Morrisons, is expected to be in line with recommendations made by shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, such as giving workers the right to a contract with fixed minimum hours.

Other key recommendations include ensuring workers are not obliged to be available over and above their contracted hours. Employers would not be entitled to require workers on zero-hour contracts to work for them exclusively unless work is guaranteed.

The review also recommends greater clarity about the employment status of those on zero hours covering a code on issues such as holiday pay notification periods pensions and auto-enrolment.

The entire shadow cabinet is travelling to Scotland today for the unveiling of the review. Miliband will also set out his argument against Scottish independence, which will note that a split would see “governments on both sides… under intense pressure from powerful interests to undercut the other by lowering tax rates for the richest or worsen wages and conditions for everyone else.

“So if Scotland left the UK the nationalists would compete in a race to the bottom lowering taxes for the richest, lowering wages for everyone else letting the banks and the energy companies do as they like”.

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