Anger after council offers zero hour jobs

SP57021 Chesterfield Town Hall
SP57021 Chesterfield Town Hall

A Labour-led council’s decision to offer zero hour contract jobs – just months after Ed Miliband branded them exploitative – has been blasted as ‘hypocritical’.

Chesterfield Borough Council is currently recruiting for eight jobs with no guaranteed hours, for roles such as sports instructors.

But Chesterfield-based Liberal Democrat candidate Alan Maris, said although there is a place for the contracts, he is surprised to see them advertised by a council.

He added: “Our Labour run council is advertising a string of these jobs, advocated by the leader Cllr John Burrows, while at the same time, our Labour MP for Chesterfield, Toby Perkins spends much of his Westminster life campaigning against them.”

In an online row with Mr Maris, Cllr Burrows tweeted last week: “Have you ever thought some people may prefer that employment status? Should we deny them that?”

Toby Perkins MP defended the council, saying his party want to legislate against exploitative contracts that stop people from seeking other work, not all zero hours contracts.

Cllr Amanda Serjeant, Chesterfield Borough Council’s executive member for leisure, culture and tourism added: “The needs of the leisure industry mean it is usual for leisure centres to use casual staff and any jobs advertised have been agreed by the unions.

“Without employing casual staff to provide cover, we would be forced to cancel classes, often at short notice, and inconvenience the people who were booked on to them.”