Um, did the Archbishop of Canterbury just blame the devil for zero hour contracts?
He called the gig economy and zero hour contracts a 'reincarnation of an ancient evil'
Turns out religion's big shot Justin Welby (that’s the Archbishop of Canterbury, folks) has a lot to say about economics. Yay for the Church of England talking about the economy. Addressing a load of people from trade unions (we presume Justin is familiar with preaching to the converted) in Manchester, Welby didn’t hold back in letting his feelings known about zero-hour contracts and the gig economy.
As well as basically calling them the devil’s work, he claimed that larger corporations were “leaching” off the taxpayer, and that zero-hour contracts and the gig economy were a “reincarnation of oppression of the vulnerable in employment”.
The gig economy allows people to be paid for pieces of work (known as piece work) rather than for every hour they work (though the legal minimum wage must always still apply). It’s supposed to loosen up working practices making things more efficient (some people love the flexibility), but its explosion thanks to new technology in recent years has drawn a lot of criticism because it can also make people’s working life a bit shitty.
Back in July 2017 the government acknowledged that things needed looking into and launched a review into these ‘modern working practices’. It said it wants to protect workers’ rights.
The Archbishop clearly doesn’t think that’s happened yet, adding “And God says, ‘let justice flow down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream’.” Okey-dokey :)