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Higher Education (Zero-hours Contracts)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 7th November 2013.

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Photo of Kenneth Macintosh Kenneth Macintosh Labour

When will the Deputy First Minister’s Government show the leadership on the issue that Scotland expects? Her ministers continue to defend the use of, and the awarding of Government grants to, multinational companies that use zero-hours contracts.

We now know that at least 8,000 people are working under those contracts in higher education and that a further 1,000 are doing so in further education. Through freedom of information requests, I have discovered that at least 27,000 people are working under zero-hours contracts in the devolved public sector, which is the area for which the Government has entire responsibility. When will the Deputy First Minister show the leadership that we demand and end that invidious employment practice?