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Archbishop of Canterbury under fire over C of E's use of zero-hours contracts and Amazon investments

THE Archbishop of Canterbury faced a backlash today after it was revealed that the Church of England (C of E) uses zero-hours contracts and invests in Amazon, despite his attacks on both at the TUC Congress this week.

Justin Welby criticised companies like Amazon for paying “almost nothing” in taxes and described the gig economy and zero-hour contracts as “the reincarnation of an ancient evil.”

Following his speech, it was revealed that at least two C of E cathedrals are advertising zero-hours contract jobs, and the Church has confirmed retailer Amazon is one of its 20 biggest investments worldwide.

Gloucester Cathedral is advertising for a porter on a zero-hours contract, describing the role as mostly evening and weekend work with an hourly wage of up to £8.75, while Norwich Cathedral is looking for a refectory assistant calling it a “casual zero-hours post.”

Ray Anglesea, a United Reformed Church minister who worked on a zero-hours contract in a cathedral bookshop, said Mr Welby “might have done well to have put his own house in order before addressing the conference.”

He said: "What Justin Welby did not disclose was how many of his cathedrals are zero contract hour employers and how many cathedral employees have no job certainty, no sick or holiday pay, and no maternity cover."

The C of E said advice to its parishes on zero-hours contracts was issued in 2013, “does not reflect the current thinking” of the Church and that it will continue to work with shareholders on the issue of “abusive tax arrangements” by “engaging with companies and their managers.”


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