A Dearne MP is calling for action to ban controversial zero hour contracts because of his concerns over ‘exploitation of workers’.

Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher believes zero-hours contracts can lead to insecurity and stress for families, and is backing Labour’s plans to outlaw their exploitative use.A recent survey of employers by YouGov found that there could be as many as one million people on zero-hours contracts.

It also found that almost one in five employers say that they employ at least one person on zero-hours contracts.

Action to stop the abuse of workers employed on such contracts would mean banning terms which require workers to work exclusively for one business, or place them on call all day without any guarantee of work.

Mr Dugher, whose constituency includes Wombwell, Darfield, Grimethorpe and Hoyland, said: “Zero hours contracts are more widespread than was first thought and this means insecurity and stress for too many families in this area.

“I recognise employers and employees need some flexibility but I’m not in favour of people in Barnsley having to be flexible about whether or not they can afford the weekly shop.”

A Government spokesman said: “On 16 September Business Secretary Vince Cable announced the Government’s intention to launch a consultation on zero hours contracts to tackle any abuses. The details will be confirmed in due course.”