This week is Decent Jobs Week, a campaign that puts the spotlight on low pay and insecurity at work. Across the UK events are being held to raise awareness about insecurity at work, and the challenges faced by millions of low paid part time and agency workers in Britain.
Emma supports the message of Decent Jobs Week: that for work to be a route out of poverty it needs to pay enough for people to live on.
Wages have failed to keep up with prices in every year since 2010, with the average family £1,600 a year worse off as a result. Insecurity in the workplace has also increased, with over a million workers employed on zero-hours contracts. A record proportion of workers are also self-employed, and experts have warned that these people are often low-paid, do not get important benefits like sick pay, and are unable to save for retirement.
The Coalition Government’s policies have encouraged insecurity at work. The number of zero hours contracts has expanded since 2010, while changes to the law have also made it harder for workers to challenge unfair dismissal.
Emma supports Labour’s plans to raise the Minimum Wage and outlaw exploitative zero hours contracts, and sponsored Bills in Parliament to do just that. Emma also backs Labour’s plan for a Jobs Guarantee that will give people who are out of work for a long period a guaranteed work placement paid at the Minimum Wage.
“A job is supposed to be a way for people to get on and help make a better life for themselves, but under this Government that isn’t true. Millions of people who want to work their way out of poverty are now unable to do so. Decent Jobs Week is a much-needed chance to show that jobs are not enough – we need well-paid jobs that reward people who work hard to provide for themselves and their families.
“Unlike David Cameron and George Osborne I’ve had jobs in the real world. I’ve worked as a cleaner, in call centres, restaurants and shops. I also worked before Labour introduced the National Minimum Wage. I know what a massive difference fair pay and decent hours make – that’s why this issue is so important to me, and why I support Labour’s plans to make work pay.”