FOLLOWING two questions at council (Wednesday, 27 November) about zero hour contracts, Thurrock Council Leader John Kent has reiterated his dislike of the system.
Speaking on Friday, Cllr Kent said: “I want to make absolutely clear exactly how wrong people are to suggest that Thurrock Council uses them widely.
“I am asking our HR team to look very closely at where these contracts are used by the council and to seek an alternative.
“As I said on Wednesday night, I do not like zero-hour contracts and I abhor their widespread use by some companies like Sports Direct.
“However, I can understand, if not condone, their use in small numbers and I understand that some employees as well as some employers claim the system works for them.”
He added: “I believe there must be a more equitable and agreeable way of employing temporary and agency workers to cover short-term absences like holidays, sickness and training.
“At the moment, according to the latest FoI question on this matter – from a member of the council – I would like to stress that there are very few people on these contracts and obviously not enough for that member to get the headline they wanted.
“There are, in fact, just 12 people using zero hour contracts in Thurrock, that’s a dozen out of around 1,400 employees overall.”