There has been a considerable increase in the number of workers on zero-hour contracts, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. The survey concludes that 1.4 million zero-hour contracts are in use in the UK. This is significantly more than the 583,000, equivalent to 2% of the workforce, said to be on the contracts by the Labour Force Survey at the start of the year.
The conclusions being drawn from these findings vary. It could mean the recent drop in unemployment is a result of employers taking on more staff on zero-hour contracts, which will boost employment figures but in many cases is not the kind of stable employment many people are looking for. Another theory is some workers are on more than one zero-hour contract, which could mean the contracts are providing the requisite flexibility for some. However, the other side of that is workers are taking on multiple contracts through necessity as they aren’t able to make enough money on one contract. DP