ed miliband

Labour leader, Ed Miliband, is expected to unveil plans to tackle the “epidemic” of zero-hours contracts in a speech in Scotland later today.

Workers with irregular shifts and pay should have rights, including a contract with fixed hours, if they work regularly for the same employer for a year, Miliband will say.

The labour leader also seeks to warn the Scots that independence might force their country to compete with England by becoming a low tax, low regulation economy.

He will claim independence will make it more difficult to impose controls on zero-hours contacts in both Scotland and the UK.

He will warn:

“If we had a border running between Scotland and the rest of the UK, governments on both sides of it would be under intense pressure from powerful interests to undercut the other by lowering tax rates for the richest or worsen wages and conditions for everyone else.

“So if Scotland left the UK the nationalists would compete in a race to the bottom lowering taxes for the richest lowering wages for everyone else letting the banks and the energy companies do as they like”.

The government said it was analysing research on zero-hours contracts and would “respond in due course.

Miliband will also recommend greater clarity about the employment status of those on zero hours covering a code on issues such as holiday pay notification periods, pensions and auto-enrolment.