Number of workers on zero-hour contracts rises above 800,000

Submitted by sglenister on Wed, 09/03/2016 - 17:38

09 March 2016

The number of workers on a zero-hour contract for their main job has risen above 800,000, accounting for 2.5% of the workforce in 2015 compared with 2.3% in 2014, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics today.

A total of 801,000 people said they relied on a contract that does not guarantee minimum working yours for their main income, jumping from 697,000 who said the same in 2014. These workers were more likely to be young, female, in part-time work or in full-time education than the rest of the workforce; and 37% of them said they wanted more hours than they received.

The Institute of Employment Rights is opposed to this casualised form of labour, which leads to financial instability for vulnerable workers and weakens the economy. Our latest publication on the issue: Re-regulating zero-hour contracts, by Professor Simon Deakin and Zoe Adams, takes a unique approach to the casualisation of labour, demonstrating how the trend towards insecure work is further entrenched by changes to the welfare state, and how this is leading to the weakening of economic resilience in the UK.

Read more and buy your copy for just £10 here – or subscribe to the Institute of Employment Rights to receive this, and access to all of our publications, completely free.

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