Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Part Time and "Zero Hours" Work

Our politicians, as usual, don't seem to know what they are taking about when it comes to part time or so-called zero-hours work.
Labour, in particular, seems to believe that everybody who wants to work should be in full time employment and that anything else is bad.
But why? These working arrangements suit many people. Both of my married daughters are working part time as they prefer it that way; in fact they had considerable difficulty finding suitable part time work as their employers would have preferred them to work full time. I've "retired" friends who work part time or zero hours, not so much for the money but in order to do something useful where their knowledge is appreciated.
I've worked a zero hour contact, although it wasn't called that at the time. It was as a stand-by paper boy; if one of the regulars didn't turn up, one of the others came banging at the door with the message that I was wanted. As far as I can see there is nothing wrong with this concept as long as the contract does not tie you to a single employer, something that this government has already stopped. I'm aware of several ladies who "help out" in local shops; that is they are occasionally called in when needed. It suits both them and the shopkeepers.
I know one could not earn a living wage on this basis and clearly any government should aim to ensure that full time work is available for those who want it. But even so, my reaction is that the Labour party is currently making a mountain out of a molehill; companies will find it harder to find people for such work as employment prospects improve.

But when politicians talk of work being available for all those who want to work what exactly do they mean?  I read in the Mail today about the man who has fathered forty children by 20 women, all living at the expense of the taxpayers,  obviously he doesn't come into the category of those who want to work. No doubt the Mail is seeking out such individuals, because only a few days previously they reported on another man, aged just 29, who had managed to father something like 15 children by various women who, together with their "families", are all living on benefits. Then we have the grossly obese woman who could hardly move from her armchair and who requires two carers to get her in and out of bed and presumably feed her, all paid for by the taxpayer as she is "disabled". These may be extreme examples, they may be few and far between, but nevertheless, few of our politicians are willing to address the issue of what to do about those who don't wish to work even when work is available.

No doubt in the course of the election campaign other "new" problems will be brought to the fore, mainly, I suspect, to try to hide the fact that our politicians of all parties have no real idea what to do about so many of the existing problems.

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