DWP Questions - Employment

Stephen Hepburn MP for the Jarrow Constituency has blasted the Tory Government for running a “slave economy” during Work and Pensions Questions in Parliament recently. 

The Jarrow MP uncovered figures from the House of Commons Library which revealed as many as four million workers in the UK are stuck in low-quality jobs, including "bogus self-employment" where firms force workers to pretend to be self-employed so they don't have to give them holiday pay and other benefits.  Others are agency workers or are on zero-hour contracts, which means they have no way of knowing how long they will work, or how much they will earn, from day to day.

Mr Hepburn told Amber Rudd MP, Work and Pensions Secretary: "The Minister referred earlier to record levels of employment, but is it not a fact that this is only because the Tories are running a slave economy, with four million people on bogus self-employment, zero-hours contracts and agency work, waiting to know whether they are going to be working from one day to the next?"

Ms Rudd said: "Only under 2.5% are on zero-hours contracts. The facts do not support the hon. Gentleman’s approach. He can have his own views; he cannot have his own facts."

Stephen Hepburn MP added:

“This Government has no idea and does not care about what is really happening in this country.

“They continually pat themselves on the back and tell us the wonderful job they are doing with employment but the reality paints a rather different picture with so many people not knowing how long they will work, or how much they will earn, from one day to the next. 

“I believe every worker deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and deserves a decent day’s pay for a decent day’s work.  TheTories want to take workplaces back to the Victorian times and only under a future Labour government - where quality jobs for all is Labour's goal and every worker paid at least £10 an hour - would improve life massively for the better.”

Meet your MP


Stephen Hepburn has served the Jarrow Constituency as MP since 1997.

He was last elected to serve in June 2017 and won the seat with a conclusive 17,263 majority.

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