Number of people on zero-hour contracts rises

9 March 2016

zero hour contract The number of people on zero-hour contracts has increased gone up by 104,000, reaching the figure of 801,000 workers, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS showed that now, 2.5% of the employed UK workforce are on a zero-hour contracts, which is up from 2014. That's around 1.7 million contracts that aren't guaranteeing staff a minimum number of hours in a working week.

ONS statistician Nick Palmer said: "This latest figure is rather higher than the 697,000 people who said they were on these contracts in late 2014. Though at least some of this increase may be due to greater public recognition of the term zero-hours contract, there's also nothing to suggest this form of employment is in decline."

Of course, some people prefer these contracts, but they've been very controversial over the years since they became more prominent. According to figures, roughly one in three people on these contracts wished they had more hours, with most workers wanting a proper contract that guarantees them hours in their current job, rather than finding a new one.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Zero-hours contracts may be a dream for cost-cutting employers, but they can be a nightmare for workers."

"Many people on zero-hours contracts are unable to plan for their future and regularly struggle with paying bills and having a decent family life."

"The so-called flexibility these contracts offer is far too one-sided. Staff without guaranteed pay have much less power to stand up for their rights and often feel afraid to turn down shifts in case they fall out of favour with their boss."

TOPICS:   Economy

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