11 July 2017
Commenting on Matthew Taylor’s report looking at modern working practices, Amanda Brown, Assistant General Secretary, of the National Union of Teachers, said;
“Modern employment practices leave insecure workers dependent and exploited. The aim in the report that ‘legislation does more of the work’ relies on compliant, transparent employment practices which teachers on zero hours contracts or working as supply teachers do not recognise.
‘Adding to the definitions of precarious worker will not protect those in insecure work. We see no rights and no guarantees in a 'right to request guaranteed hours’; the only guarantee we anticipate is that that worker will not work again. Teachers working in insecure work need transparency, a baseline of rights and access to enforce those rights.
‘We have seen teachers exploited by supply teacher agencies and umbrella companies whose work dries up the moment they ask a question about their rights. Principles are fine but there will be no ‘good work’ unless enforceable rights and penalties against those who exploit vulnerable workers are guaranteed.
‘The report does not mention the fact that some of these “modern practices” actually cost far more than the alternatives in areas such as supply teaching where agencies drain millions of pounds away from education into their profits. In such cases, new systems offering direct employment would benefit everyone, saving schools substantial amounts while also offering teachers apposite pay reflecting their qualifications and experience.”