Norwich Cathedral zero hours contract row

Lloyd Doyle
September 15, 2018

Justin Welby called for Universal Credit to be axed during a speech at the TUC Congress in Manchester.

Arguing that the Church of England's own income is boosted by tax reliefs that come with being a charity, he continued: "Why not trial this bold new policy within the Anglican congregation itself?"

He also turned his attention to tax, saying: 'When companies like Amazon can get away with paying nearly nothing in tax, there is something wrong with the system.

Pressure is building on companies operating in the gig economy, which includes Uber and other app-based firms, after the UK's top judges ruled in June that Pimlico Plumbers should have treated one of its tradesmen as a "worker", giving the plumber the right to vacation pay and other benefits.

It also emerged that at least two Church of England cathedrals are now advertising jobs on zero-hours contracts.

He also hit out at the gig economy and zero-hours contracts.

Should the Church's efforts result in any changes in how Amazon runs its business, we'll report it.


Gloucester Cathedral is now advertising for a porter on a zero-hours contract with the website describing the role as mostly evening and weekend work with a wage of up to £8.75 per hour. Meanwhile, Norwich Cathedral is looking for a refectory assistant, calling it a "casual zero-hours post" on its website.

The Church said of its investments that it condemned aggressive tax avoidance, adding: "We take the view that it is most effective to be in the room with these companies seeking change as a shareholder".

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby gave Amazon both barrels on Wednesday for unethical practices, but a Church Commissioners' annual report shows that the Church of England has millions of pounds worth of shares invested in the tech giant.

"We continue to work with other shareholders to tackle this issue via engagement with companies and their managers", it said. But Reverend Ray Anglesea, who worked on such a contract for the Church, unveiled in a letter to the Times that the Church uses similar contracts for numerous employees at its cathedrals.

Conservative MP Ben Bradley told the paper: 'It's hypocritical when (he) condemns zero-hours contracts whilst his churches are advertising zero-hours jobs'.

Amazon, which recently became the second company ever to be worth a trillion dollars, paid £4.6 million ($6 million) in United Kingdom tax in 2017, despite revenue of just under £2 billion ($2.6 billion).

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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