We attended the Scottish Women's Convention's Young Women's Network Conference, which this year focussed on the influences, pressures and experiences of young women.
You can read the full event report on their website here.
Many young women shared their experience of discrimination and exploitation within the workplace throughout the day. They got advice and support from a specialist lawyer and trade union reps. The following quote is taken from the event report, and highlights the havoc that precarious work can create in people's lives:
“I was on a zero hours contract when I found out I was pregnant. I also had to declare myself homeless due to a family breakdown.
I went in to tell my manager that I was pregnant and also that I was living in a homeless unit and the next day he phoned me to advise there was no work. This carried on for a week, and by the end of that week he let me know they were paying off agency workers, so I lost my job.
I had nothing so I went to the Jobcentre, who were extremely unhelpful. I was told that because I had a partner who was earning a wage, even though we did not live together, I wasn’t entitled to anything. I was living off donations from foodbanks. However you’re only allowed to go a certain amount of times in month.
Because of what happened to me I want to campaign to stop zero hours contracts because of the damage and devastation they create.”