V968 - Payment of Overtime on Low-Hours Employment Contracts Bill (Third Reading) Watch

Poll: Should this bill be passed into law?
As many are of the opinion, Aye (21)
45.65%
On the contrary, No (17)
36.96%
Abstain (8)
17.39%
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toronto353
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V968 - Payment of Overtime on Low-Hours Employment Contracts Bill (Third Reading), TSR Socialist Party



Payment of Overtime on Low-Hours Employment Contracts Bill 2016

A Bill to improve pay for workers with unstable or inconsistent income streams and to create incentives for employers to provide certainty

BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
1. Definitions
The following definitions are used in this Act:
  1. The 'Full-Time Threshold' shall be 32 guaranteed hours per week.
  2. The 'contracted hours' are the number of hours which are guaranteed to be paid for by the employer.
  3. The 'contracted wages' are the sum paid in remuneration of the employee's work by way of money, or liquid property with a clear market value.
    a) Property is 'liquid' if it may be expected to be sold at or above market rate within one day.
    b) A market value is 'clear' if the property is subject to free exchange within a market where i) equivalent property is transferred several times per hour on average, and ii) a record of transactions is publicly maintained.
    c) The value of the property concerned shall be the market rate after transactional taxes, agent fees and other costs incurred by the vendor are deducted.
  4. An 'eligible employment contract' is one to which the National Minimum Wage applies, and where the employee is aged 18 or over.
    a) If an employee turns 18 within the duration of the contract, the contract shall become an 'eligible employment contract' from that point.
2. Overtime payment on low-hours employment contracts
  1. On eligible employment contracts with less guaranteed hours than the Full-Time Threshold, any hours worked which are beyond the number of contracted hours must be paid at least at the Enhanced Rate.
  2. The Enhanced Rate shall be the following:
    a) For contracted wages between the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and 1.2 times the NMW, the Enhanced Rate shall be 160% of the contracted wage.
    b) For contracted wages between the 1.2 times the NMW and 1.5 times the NMW, the Enhanced Rate shall be 140% of the contracted wage.
    c) For contracted wages between 1.5 times the NMW and 3 times the NMW, the Enhanced Rate shall be 120% of the contracted wage.
    d) For contracted wages which are greater than 3 times the NMW, the Enhanced Rate shall be 100% of the contracted wage.
  3. The right to be paid the Enhanced Rate where specified by this Act may not be alienated through contract or through any other means.
  4. Any additional sums due under this section are payable in the same way as the contracted wage (for instance, where the contracted wage is paid through a mixture of stock options and cash, the additional sum may be paid through stock options or cash, but no through no other means), with the exception that payment in money shall always be permissible.
3. Requirement to retain record of employment contract
  1. The employer must retain, and offer to the employee a copy of a record of all non-written employment contracts, stating clearly the number of contracted hours and the contracted wage.
  2. Failing to do so may result in a fine up to 5% of the annual revenue of the beneficiary of the employee's work, payable by the employer.
4. Civil claims for non-compliance
  1. Where an employee believes that section 2 or section 3(1) above is not being complied with by their employer, they may bring a civil complaint before the Employment Tribunal.
  2. An employee has standing to bring a claim under section 2 above if they can demonstrate the existence of a contract under which an Enhanced Rate of 101% or greater may become liable to be paid.
  3. An employee has standing to bring a claim under section 3(1) above automatically.
  4. If a successful claim is brought under section 2 above, damage consisting of impacts on the employee's personal life, including, but not limited to fees and interest payments incurred through debt, loss of property through debt or otherwise, and impacts on personal relationships as loss of amenity demages, should not be considered too remote.
5. Criminal offence of non-compliance
  1. Deliberate and sustained non-compliance with sections 2 or 3(1) above shall amount to a criminal offence.
  2. The maximum penalty for non-compliance with section 2 above shall be six times the amount unpaid, or 10% of the annual revenue of the beneficiary of the employee's work, whichever is greater.
  3. The maximum penalty for non-compliance with section 3(1) is as defined in section 3(2).
6. Exemption
  1. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions shall maintain a list of professions exempted from sections 2-5 above, and may amend that list by order where a profession is one in which flexibility is required by the very nature of the profession.
  2. The Secretary of State may be required to consider the inclusion or exclusion of a profession from the exemption list in the following circumstances:
    a) There is a petition, with at least ten thousand signatures, requesting his consideration of a profession for inclusion or exclusion; and
    b) That profession has not been considered for inclusion within the preceding thirty-six months.
  3. When turning down a petition under subsection 6(2) above, the Secretary is required to give written reasons for his decision.
  4. The Secretary's decision either to include or not to include a profession in the exemption list shall be subject to judicial review.
7. Commencement, Short Title and Extent
  1. This Act may be referred to as the Overtime Act 2016
  2. This Act will extend to the United Kingdom; and;
  3. This Act shall come into force on the 6th April 2017.




Notes

Policy explanation:
Spoiler:
Show
Zero-hour and low-hour contracts add flexibility benefits for the employer without any benefits being gained by the employee. Given the labour market is one with significant monopsonies, this needs state intervention to adjust for.

This Bill requires that any hours worked over the contracted number of hours for employment contracts for less than 32 weekly hours are paid at an additional rate in order to compensate the employee.

Changes for second reading:
Spoiler:
Show
Added section 6 to exclude professions where ZHCs are used legitimately becuase of a need for flexibility (such as caring).


Changes for third reading:
Spoiler:
Show
Amended wording from 'cash' to 'money', and changed from 'at the Enhanced Rate' to 'at least at the Enhanced Rate'.
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GaelicBolshevik
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A very intuitive and agreeable Bill.

Aye.
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Andy98
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Just realised this only applies to those 18 and over. I'm not sure whether that renders all under 18s unemployed or what...

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EricAteYou
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I should have voted Aye, but I must have clicked wrong last night. Could this amended please?

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toronto353
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(Original post by EricAteYou)
I should have voted Aye, but I must have clicked wrong last night. Could this amended please?

toronto353
I've altered your vote accordingly.
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Rakas21
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You earnt an Abstain although i was dithering between a Nay and Abstain given that the bill is reasonable but i fundamentally disagree with your premise (it comes across as believing that people have a right to a job and should be ungrateful at being paid).

Just a shame that you did not spend 5-10 minutes on perfecting the format because for the most part this is the first bill this term in which formatting, quality and defense in thread have been worthy of applause.
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(Original post by Andy98)
Just realised this only applies to those 18 and over. I'm not sure whether that renders all under 18s unemployed or what...

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I don't see why that would be the case. It just recognises that there is no reason for under-18s to have anything near as much certainty in how much they work week-on-week as they will be supporting neither themselves, nor their families (and if they are, it is impossible to legislate for that). Accordingly, I'd ask that you change your vote to an aye.
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(Original post by Rakas21)
You earnt an Abstain although i was dithering between a Nay and Abstain given that the bill is reasonable but i fundamentally disagree with your premise (it comes across as believing that people have a right to a job and should be ungrateful at being paid).

Just a shame that you did not spend 5-10 minutes on perfecting the format because for the most part this is the first bill this term in which formatting, quality and defense in thread have been worthy of applause.
How would you amend the formatting, out of interest?
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Rakas21
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(Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
How would you amend the formatting, out of interest?
Your only flaw was line spacing twice and having a gap between the bill and notes.

Make the bottom of the bill look like..

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=3720989
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TheDefiniteArticle
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Your only flaw was line spacing twice and having a gap between the bill and notes.

Make the bottom of the bill look like..

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=3720989
tbh I think I prefer my formatting, sorry!
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Andy98
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(Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
I don't see why that would be the case. It just recognises that there is no reason for under-18s to have anything near as much certainty in how much they work week-on-week as they will be supporting neither themselves, nor their families (and if they are, it is impossible to legislate for that). Accordingly, I'd ask that you change your vote to an aye.
I was always going to abstain anyway, purely because I don't really see the need for it.
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(Original post by Andy98)
I was always going to abstain anyway, purely because I don't really see the need for it.
Oh dear, I didn't realise I'd have to explain why ZHCs are a bad thing:

"The majority of zero-hours workers are on minimum wages, have next to no rights, nor any control over their working hours, while often being saddled with exclusivity clauses that stops them seeking work elsewhere. That’s why the Labour party have hit such a nerve by focusing on the present unfair zero-hours situation. Put bluntly, the much-trumpeted “flexibility” is a one-way street."

http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...-you-call-them
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Oh dear, I didn't realise I'd have to explain why ZHCs are a bad thing:

"The majority of zero-hours workers are on minimum wages, have next to no rights, nor any control over their working hours, while often being saddled with exclusivity clauses that stops them seeking work elsewhere. That’s why the Labour party have hit such a nerve by focusing on the present unfair zero-hours situation. Put bluntly, the much-trumpeted “flexibility” is a one-way street."

http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...-you-call-them
I'd have to disagree, they are a good thing. They are great for productivity, and mean that there's very little labour being wasted keeping production and output costs low. With a welfare state that can adequately support people we could actually have everyone on ZHCs and we'd have a very strong economy.
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(Original post by Lime-man)
I'd have to disagree, they are a good thing. They are great for productivity, and mean that there's very little labour being wasted keeping production and output costs low. With a welfare state that can adequately support people we could actually have everyone on ZHCs and we'd have a very strong economy.
This doesn't work because employers aren't as rational as you'd like.

Also, economic output isn't the only relevant metric. Lives are destroyed by ZHCs - this Bill does not remove the possibility of ZHCs, but rebalances the bargaining situation to produce a fairer, more just outcome.
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(Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
This doesn't work because employers aren't as rational as you'd like.

Also, economic output isn't the only relevant metric. Lives are destroyed by ZHCs - this Bill does not remove the possibility of ZHCs, but rebalances the bargaining situation to produce a fairer, more just outcome.
With a well supporting welfare system though, everyone could be on a ZHC and you wouldn't have the negative effects.
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(Original post by Lime-man)
With a well supporting welfare system though, everyone could be on a ZHC and you wouldn't have the negative effects.
Okay, but unfortunately we don't have that welfare system, and your party would prevent such a Bill from ever passing. In the real world, this Bill is necessary and reasonable.
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(Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
Oh dear, I didn't realise I'd have to explain why ZHCs are a bad thing:

"The majority of zero-hours workers are on minimum wages, have next to no rights, nor any control over their working hours, while often being saddled with exclusivity clauses that stops them seeking work elsewhere. That’s why the Labour party have hit such a nerve by focusing on the present unfair zero-hours situation. Put bluntly, the much-trumpeted “flexibility” is a one-way street."

http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...-you-call-them
That's one of the most biased articles I've ever read. Unless your employer is a complete *******, you won't have a problem with them. Which is why I think they should be regulated rather than abolished.
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That's one of the most biased articles I've ever read. Unless your employer is a complete *******, you won't have a problem with them. Which is why I think they should be regulated rather than abolished.
Of course it's biased, it's trying to illustrate one side of a debate.

This doesn't abolish ZHCs, merely shifts bargaining power back to employees, making the playing ground more neutral. And the problem is that you kind of have to assume that people are (whatever that was before the filter got to it) - the law doesn't exist to regulate the conduct of people who were going to do the right thing anyway. Furthermore, look at the reasoning behing offering a ZHC. If you didn't intend to exploit the flexibility involved, you would simply offer a contract with guaranteed hours. There's got to be a strong correlation, therefore, between people who offer ZHCs and people who would use them to exploit employees.
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Andy98
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(Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
Of course it's biased, it's trying to illustrate one side of a debate.

This doesn't abolish ZHCs, merely shifts bargaining power back to employees, making the playing ground more neutral. And the problem is that you kind of have to assume that people are (whatever that was before the filter got to it) - the law doesn't exist to regulate the conduct of people who were going to do the right thing anyway. Furthermore, look at the reasoning behing offering a ZHC. If you didn't intend to exploit the flexibility involved, you would simply offer a contract with guaranteed hours. There's got to be a strong correlation, therefore, between people who offer ZHCs and people who would use them to exploit employees.
Yes, you're right, zero hour contracts are exploitative. So are all contacts, it's just a case of reading what you sign; if you don't like the terms you negotiate or walk away. I just don't think the government should be doing this for the sole reason of people not paying attention to what they're about to sign.

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(Original post by Andy98)
Yes, you're right, zero hour contracts are exploitative. So are all contacts, it's just a case of reading what you sign; if you don't like the terms you negotiate or walk away. I just don't think the government should be doing this for the sole reason of people not paying attention to what they're about to sign.

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It isn't really a case of people not paying attention to what they are doing, in many cases these are people in desperate situations who have very little other choice than to take what they are offered.
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