Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith will attempt to win over some of Jeremy Corbyn's supporters by promising a range of reforms around the workplace today (27 July).

The Pontypridd MP is expected to promise the creation of a shadow labour secretary tasked with "making Britain the envy of the world" and he will commit to reintroducing wage councils, which were scrapped by Margaret Thatcher.

"A faith in our country as having a future as bright as its past. And one where the fruits of our collective success are shared more equally between us," Smith will say, during a speech at the Orgreave coking plant in South Yorkshire.

The former shadow work and pensions secretary will also promise to abolish zero-hours contracts. The flexible work arrangements were reformed by the coalition government, with former business secretary Vince Cable banning so called "exclusivity clauses".

Official figures showed the number of zero-hours contracts rose to 801,000 in the three months to December 2015, up by more than 100,000 compared to the same period the year before.

But professional HR body the CIPD has argued that zero-hours contracts employees are just as happy as workers on permanent contracts.

"Zero-hours contracts are becoming a permanent feature of the UK labour market, but they are often characterised as offering low-quality work on unfair terms which is inferior to permanent, full-time contracts. Our research shows that zero-hours contracts employees don't always see their jobs in such a negative light," said Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD.

"On average, they find their jobs as satisfying as other employees which suggests that zero-hours contracts offer positives as well as negatives.

"One positive is the flexibility they can offer to employees who otherwise may not be able to find work that suits them, but less involvement in the workplace may be a negative. That's why it's important to understand that this type of working arrangement may not suit everyone."

Meanwhile, Corbyn's supporters have pointed to his 2020 Workplace initiative to claim that the left-winger has led the debate on employment issues.

The policies created from the programme are designed to replace the controversial Trades Union Act, labour regulations which Brexit Secretary David Davis compared to anti-trade union rules under Spanish dictator General Franco.