Record 1 in 4 Workers on a Zero-Hour Contract

zero hour contract

1 in 40 UK workers are on a zero-hour contract that doesn’t guarantee a minimum number of hours.

Statistically the youngest people in the workforce make up a huge number of the 801,000 people on a zero-hour contract and they’re most likely to be young, women, students or part time compared to other people in employment.

In the last three months of 2015 the Office for National Statistics have shown there was an increase by 15% and around 1.7 million contracts, that didn’t guarantee a minimum number of hours in November.

They admit that the estimate may have been affected by seasonal factors that haven’t been recognised in the past.

On average people on the zero-hour contract work 26 hours a week but one third of these workers would choose to work more hours if given the chance.

Average workers earn £188 compared to permanent employees earning £479.

For students and part time workers the contract allows flexible hours however StepChange research suggests two thirds of people on the zero-hour contract have suffered from an unexpected change in income in the last year, meaning people in non-secure work positions are likely to suffer twice as much as somebody in a permanent job.

39% of people on the zero-hour contract earn less than £111 a week, allowing them to qualify for statutory sick pay.

Seamus Nevin, Head of Employment and Skills at the Institute of Directors has said: “It is important to note that the vast majority (two-thirds) of people on zero-hours contracts say they are happy with their employment terms and do not want to work more hours.

For students, elderly workers in semi-retirement, and people with childcare responsibilities, zero-hours contracts offer much needed flexibility that they can’t get with other forms of employment.”