Zero Hours contracts hit record high

GMB slams Government for inaction after massive rise leaves more than 1.1 million in insecure working.

14 Feb 2023| News

GMB union has accused Rishi Sunak of presiding over a ‘tidal wave’ of insecure work after zero hours employment hit its highest rate in history. New official figures show that 1,133,441 people were employed on a zero hours contract in October to December 2022.

This was the highest estimate on record and an increase of 8.5 per cent on the previous three months. Young workers, women workers and people born outside the UK are all more like to be in zero hours employment.

One in nine workers aged between 16 and 24 (11.7 per cent) are now on a zero hours contract, according to the ONS. Separate figures show that a third of all direct care workers in England are on a zero hours contract, rising to half in London.

Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said:

“This Government is making history for all the wrong reasons. Rishi Sunak is presiding over a tidal wave of insecure work and exploitative zero hours employment is higher than ever.  

The economy is stalling and his answer is to launch a bonfire of workers’ rights while other countries get with ending these contracts for good. Zero hours contracts are a key part of a broken employment model in sectors from social care to retail. It’s time for a government that will fight for workers’ rights.”