The UK’s Buckingham Palace comes under fire from trade unions, politicians and activists after it has emerged that hundreds of its summer staff were hired on unfavorable zero-hours contracts.
Under the controversial zero-hours contract, staff are not guaranteed work and are not allowed to work for other employee without a written consent of the palace.
According to The Guardian, a copy of a staff contract dated 2009 says, “Your hours of work will be advised by the visitor manager and will be dependent upon the requirements for retail assistants at Buckingham Palace as and when required.”
Buckingham palace, however, is not alone in this practice as the Tate Galleries catering service, the UK’s second biggest cinema chain Cineworld, and retailer Sports Direct have also come under fire for employing staff on zero-hours terms .
Dave Prentis, general secretary of the Unison union, called for the contracts to be made illegal, saying that they should be outlawed for the damage they cause to the families.
“Many people on zero-hours contracts are on the lowest wages in our economy, making them the least able to cope with financial shocks like a drastic cut in hours from one week to the next. This has a damaging impact on family life, and on people’s spending, bad news for our economy and our society,” Prentis said.
According to an earlier tudy by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 200,000 staff work on zero-hours contracts in Britain. The revelations, however, suggest the true number should be far higher than previously estimated by the ONS .
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