700,000 people on zero-hour contracts for main job
According to figures, that's a rise of more than 100,000 compared to last year, which of course, is going to kick off arguments over the use of these contracts and workers being done over on benefits like holiday pay, knowing how much you'll actually be working in a month and more.
The Office for National Statistics say the actual figure is 697,000. It seems there's been a spike in the numbers, not because there's more companies giving them to employees, but rather, an increased recognition of what these contracts actually are. So, previous statistics would've been higher, but people didn't have the phrase 'zero hour contract'.
Some of the businesses that are using them are big-guns too, such as Burger King, the Wetherspoon pubs, Sports Direct, McDonald's and Domino's. Even Buckingham Palace is offering them to staff, which seems preposterous. Other institutions that are using a lot of zero-hour contracts are colleges and universities and there's a lot of care-workers being signed-up to these contracts too.
MPs are also utilising zero-hour contracts, which is worth knowing in the build-up to the May election, should they all start complaining about how desperately unfair they are.
The ONS added that roughly a third of people on these, wished they had more working hours.
The Unite union leader, Len McCluskey, spat: "Increasing numbers of workers face a year of working harder and getting poorer thanks to the explosion of insecure working and exploitative zero-hours contracts.”