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Ban zero hour contracts in health and social care jobs in Scotland, SNP ministers told

The Scottish Government should ban the use of zero hour contracts in health and social care jobs if it wants to solve a recruitment crisis, campaigners have claimed.

Zero Hours Justice, a UK-wide group calling for reform, said potential applicants were being put off by poor pay and working conditions.

SNP ministers are planning to revolutionise the sector by creating the National Care Service - a move they insist will help drive up standards and allow for collective bargaining on wages.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf said companies bidding for Scottish Government projects were already evaluated on their "fair working practices" while the "vast majority" of NHS staff were on permanent contracts.

But campaigners want Holyrood to take action now and end the use of zero hour health jobs.

Chris Peace, Zero Hours Justice campaign director, said: "GPs have repeatedly warned that the lack of social care staff threatens to overwhelm the NHS. Recently published statistics show that on average 1832 hospital beds in Scotland are taken up each day due to delayed discharge.

"Much of this is caused by the inability to provide social care support due to a lack of staffing. Indeed, according to the Scottish Government the social care vacancy rate in Scotland is at an eye watering 43 per cent.

"These health professionals work under huge pressure, providing vital public services. They performed heroically during the Covid pandemic to keep us safe and well.

"They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect with a secure contract, fair pay and decent working conditions. The Scottish Government must take action to get rid of these pernicious contracts from the system."

Yousaf said: "The Scottish Government firmly opposes the inappropriate use of

Government NHS Health

Humza Yousaf

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