Government action needed to end home helps’ zero-hour contracts
The Government must act to end the imposition of zero-hour contracts on home helps working for voluntary sector organisations which are funded by the Health Service Executive (HSE) to provide public health care schemes, according to the SIPTU Health Division.
“In recent weeks we have engaged with the HSE on this issue,” said SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell. “It is apparent that the HSE is aware that vulnerable workers are being exploited by the imposition of zero-hour contracts.”
He added: “The Government must put its own house in order in relation to zero-hour contracts. Immediate action is needed to produce legislation aimed at eliminating this employment practice which subjugates and impoverishes vulnerable workers.”
Approximately 3,500 home helps work for community and voluntary sector organisations which are fully funded by the HSE. It is estimated that up to a third of these workers are employed on a zero-hour contract basis. Home helps directly employed by the HSE benefit from a binding Labour Court recommendation which guarantees a basic nine-hour working week.