Print

24/04/2018 - Zero-hour contracts on the rise

zeroZero-hour contracts (those with no guaranteed hours) have risen to nearly two million in Britain. One in 12 young people are now working uncertain hours.

The Office for National Statistics, said the number of zero-hour contracts increased to 1.8m in the year to November, up from 1.7m in 2016.

The study found that people on zero-hours contracts are more likely to be young, part-time, women or in full-time education. Average working hours are 25.2 per week.

Results also revealed that just over a quarter of people on the contracts want more hours, in their current job.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Most people are not on zero-hours contracts by choice. They want the same rights, security and guaranteed hours as other employees.
"More than half of zero-hours contract workers have had jobs cancelled with less than a day's notice. Zero-hours contracts are a licence to treat people like disposable labour and the government should ban them."

Resolution Foundation think tank's Stephen Clarke, said the use of zero-hours contracts exploded in the wake of the financial crisis.

He said: "Around 900,000 workers are on a zero-hours contract, including one in 12 young people and, while some workers appreciate the flexibility they bring, for others they bring insecurity and lower pay."

"The government can help both of these groups by providing a right to guaranteed hours for anyone who has been doing regular hours on a zero-hours contract for at least three months."
Tim Roache, the general secretary of the trade union GMB, said: “The number of zero-hours contracts should be falling but they are in fact on the rise."

“These scandalous figures show Theresa May’s out-of-touch government is completely and utterly failing to tackle insecure work.”

Patrick Harrington, general secretary of Solidarity Union, said: "Theresa May promised in February to give workers the right to request a more stable contract. This followed the Taylor review of employment last year. Unions and the Labour party say that this is not enough. That's right."

"We know that it’s a nightmare trying to pay the bills, arrange childcare or manage your money if you don’t know how much work you’ll have from one day to the next."

"If you’re being treated badly at work, unions can to help. Join one!"