By | June 17, 2019


SNP MP Chris Stephens will today (Tuesday 18th June) present a bill in the House of Commons that, if passed, would change the law to end sanctions for Universal Credit claimants who refuse zero-hour contracts.

Under the legacy system, claimants were not sanctioned for refusing to work a zero-hours contract but this came to an end under Universal Credit.

The MP for Glasgow South West warned that sanctioning claimants on the basis of refusing to work zero-hours contracts risks pushing them into an exploitative and insecure work situations with little to no ability to progress.

Zero-hours contracts can also make it difficult for families and individuals to plan financially, and see many people fall into situations where they are waiting weeks for a Universal Credit payment which reflects a month in which they have not worked many hours.

Commenting ahead of presenting his bill, Chris Stephens MP said:

“The UK government must support my bill and scrap the punitive policy of sanctioning people for refusing a job that would place them in a precarious and exploitative situation – allowing this to become policy under Universal Credit was a reckless move by this callous Tory government.

“Zero-hours contracts can be used to exploit workers which fundamentally goes against the DWP’s stated intention of making Universal Credit mirror the world of work.

“Mandating that claimants take up or stay in a job with fluctuating hours, and therefore pay, is the height of irresponsibility.

“It is time this Tory government took a leaf out of Scotland’s social security book and treated all social security claimants with dignity and respect.”