Farage calls for zero-hours curbs

Hampshire Chronicle: Nigel Farage says cheap labour from abroad is allowing big firms to dictate to workers Nigel Farage says cheap labour from abroad is allowing big firms to dictate to workers

Large firms should sign up to a "tough code of conduct" to prevent them exploiting workers on zero-hours contracts, Ukip leader Nigel Farage has said.

He claimed cheap labour "flooding in from abroad" had left big employers in an increasingly powerful position to dictate terms for workers.

But Mr Farage acknowledged that the flexibility of zero-hours contracts, which do not guarantee regular work, suited some firms and employees and said he did not believe in banning the arrangements.

It is the latest sign of Mr Farage's efforts to target working class voters and woo support away from Labour in the run-up to next month's European elections.

Ed Miliband has promised Labour will regulate zero-hours contracts if he becomes prime minister and a Government review of the issue is expected to report in July.

In a Daily Express column Mr Farage said: "With so much cheap labour flooding in from abroad, giant corporations are in an increasingly powerful position to dictate terms and conditions for workers."

He added: "Unlimited immigration from eastern Europe and elsewhere has left many British working people pretty much defenceless against constant downgrades in their pay and employment conditions."

Mr Farage said that while having a zero-hours contract as an option was appropriate for some workers "having it as the only available form of work is quite another".

"And keeping people on zero-hours contracts for year after year when they aspire to stable employment so that they can provide for their families is something else again.

"I do not believe in banning zero-hours contracts. But I do believe there is a very strong case for expecting large employers to sign up to a tough code of conduct as to how they are applied.

"For instance, if an employee proves reliable enough to be working for a big company for a year or more then there should be an expectation that the company will offer him or her a permanent position."

Mr Farage said he did not blame multinational firms for trying to minimise their tax bills, but said they had to show responsibility to their workforce.

"I do not blame them for that - it is the responsibility of the authorities to set the tax regime after all," he said.

"But I do say that they should show more responsibility towards those on the shop floor. Often those kept on zero-hours contracts are women with major family responsibilities."

Mr Farage was praised as "charismatic" by the leader of France's far-right National Front, who said her "arms will be open" to Ukip if it wants to join together to fight the European Union.

Ukip told the BBC it is not interested in any deal with Marine Le Pen or her party, adding this is particularly because of "prejudice and anti-Semitism" in the National Front.

Ms Le Pen said she did not see UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage as part of her movement and said an invitation for the party to be part of her campaign was no longer open.

But when asked if she would be open to work with Mr Farage in the future, s he told BBC's Newsnight: " I am above personal considerations and any harm people try to inflict on us.

"My concern is the interests of the European people. My arms will be open as long as it's in the interest of the European people for us to join together in a common project to fight the European Union."

Asked what she made of Mr Farage, she said: "I think he's undoubtedly a charismatic leader. He has a message that people really want to hear and which is based on a correct reading of the situation.

"We do have our differences - for example, on the economy - there's no doubt about that.

"But I do think there is something he's missing, and that's the seriousness of the situation our continent finds itself in.

"If he understood how serious the EU's situation is, he would support the collaboration of all patriotic movements, and he wouldn't resort to tactics and strategy."

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:57pm Fri 18 Apr 14

welshmen says...

Frances Far Right National Front, get it right Argus "Frances Front National Far right Political Party, and what's more the National Patriot movement is Spreading all across the European Union as well as this Country, People have had enough of the lies on lies printed and spoken on the BBC and in the Press Media to further their cause of the Genocide of the British Native, the Media need to start backing the British people, not their MASTERS the owners and the Government to promote stopping the Liberal Elites Genocide through Immigration of our Country and the Colonisation of Islam, off topic but worth a mention... Well done to Tim Burton, KO's Fiyaz Mugal: Defeat for Sharia and Muslim Supremacy in the UK, example of the lies Muslims can say to non believers are all allowed by the Qu'ran "TAQIYYA"....Wake up don't be fooled by the PC idiots....
Frances Far Right National Front, get it right Argus "Frances Front National Far right Political Party, and what's more the National Patriot movement is Spreading all across the European Union as well as this Country, People have had enough of the lies on lies printed and spoken on the BBC and in the Press Media to further their cause of the Genocide of the British Native, the Media need to start backing the British people, not their MASTERS the owners and the Government to promote stopping the Liberal Elites Genocide through Immigration of our Country and the Colonisation of Islam, off topic but worth a mention... Well done to Tim Burton, KO's Fiyaz Mugal: Defeat for Sharia and Muslim Supremacy in the UK, example of the lies Muslims can say to non believers are all allowed by the Qu'ran "TAQIYYA"....Wake up don't be fooled by the PC idiots.... welshmen
  • Score: -1

10:45am Sat 19 Apr 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

Farage has actually said something that I at least partially agree with here - for the first - though probably the last - time. However, the conclusion he makes needs to be expounded. Employers are able to flood the jobs market with cheap labour and thereby keep British workers out of work because of the fact that the Equal Pay Act rather ridiculously only makes it illegal to pay workers less for doing the same job on the grounds of sex and (partially) gender. Therefore, if an unscrupulous (and/or bigoted) employer wishes to pay a Polish employee 50 per cent less for doing exactly the same job as a British employee then this is - bizarrely and completely outrageously - legal under British law. That's why you know see so many bosses and companies taking advantage of this by employing immigrant workers on a much less higher rate than indigenous British ones. To prevent this, the Equal Pay Act should be widened to also make it illegal to pay workers unequally on grounds of nationality and race - and equal pay auditors should be dispatched to every workplace annually to ensure that companies and organizations are complying to equal pay anti-discrimination legislation in much the same way that compulsory health and safety audit inspections take place. I've yet to encounter a political party that will argue for this however, as they are all on the side of the rich and the employers.
Farage has actually said something that I at least partially agree with here - for the first - though probably the last - time. However, the conclusion he makes needs to be expounded. Employers are able to flood the jobs market with cheap labour and thereby keep British workers out of work because of the fact that the Equal Pay Act rather ridiculously only makes it illegal to pay workers less for doing the same job on the grounds of sex and (partially) gender. Therefore, if an unscrupulous (and/or bigoted) employer wishes to pay a Polish employee 50 per cent less for doing exactly the same job as a British employee then this is - bizarrely and completely outrageously - legal under British law. That's why you know see so many bosses and companies taking advantage of this by employing immigrant workers on a much less higher rate than indigenous British ones. To prevent this, the Equal Pay Act should be widened to also make it illegal to pay workers unequally on grounds of nationality and race - and equal pay auditors should be dispatched to every workplace annually to ensure that companies and organizations are complying to equal pay anti-discrimination legislation in much the same way that compulsory health and safety audit inspections take place. I've yet to encounter a political party that will argue for this however, as they are all on the side of the rich and the employers. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: -1

11:07am Sat 19 Apr 14

welshmen says...

British natives first for jobs, housing, immigrants returned to their country of origin, Foreign Aid budget stopped, Forces home from all Wars, out of the EU, boarders closed, zero hours stopped, deport all Foreign criminals, Review the Human Rights Act so it Favours this Country not Foreigners....The British National Party will do this and more, they will also remove Religious Faiths that Colonise and threaten the security of the UK....For more of the same keep voting LIB/LAB/CON/ Wales Plaid Cymru....
British natives first for jobs, housing, immigrants returned to their country of origin, Foreign Aid budget stopped, Forces home from all Wars, out of the EU, boarders closed, zero hours stopped, deport all Foreign criminals, Review the Human Rights Act so it Favours this Country not Foreigners....The British National Party will do this and more, they will also remove Religious Faiths that Colonise and threaten the security of the UK....For more of the same keep voting LIB/LAB/CON/ Wales Plaid Cymru.... welshmen
  • Score: 1
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree