Archbishop of Canterbury accused of hypocrisy as church's use of zero-hours contracts revealed

Posted On: 
14th September 2018

A Tory MP has accused the Archbishop of Canterbury of hypocrisy after it emerged the Church of England uses zero-hours contracts and invests in Amazon - despite his condemning both.

Justin Welby had already sparked fury for his speech to the TUC
PA Images

In a hard-hitting speech earlier this week, Archbishop Justin Welby said zero-hours contracts were “the reincarnation of an ancient evil” and slammed Amazon for paying “almost nothing in tax”.

But the Archbishop’s Council - of which Lord Welby is a joint-president - advises parishes to use zero-hours contracts, while Amazon is one of the Church Commissioners' 20 biggest equity investments.

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Tory MP Ben Bradley - who had already attacked the cleric for the content of his speech - urged Archbishop Welby to “practise what he preaches”.

He added: “It’s hypocritical when [he] condemns zero-hours contracts whilst his churches are advertising zero-hours jobs.”

Mr Bradley had said the top cleric was “parroting” the Labour party when he made his speech to the TUC conference on Wednesday.

But the Times found two Church of England cathedrals advertising zero-hour roles as well as a number of church dioceses and schools using them.

A Church of England spokesman told the paper the guidance over zero-hours contracts no longer reflected the church’s “current thinking”.

They added: “As a responsible employer, the church is now reviewing its working practices.”