A further rise in zero hours contracts?
Wednesday 2nd September 2015
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has reported that the use of zero-hours continues has increased in the last year.
The data collected by the ONS in January showed that businesses used 1.5 million zero-hours contracts as compared to 1.4 million a year earlier, an increase of 6%. The ONS have stated that the rise was “not statistically significant”.
The ONS has also published information to say that between April and June 2015, people employed on zero-hours contracts represented just 2.4% (744,000) of people in employment at that time. This is an increase from 2% (624,000) for the same period in 2014.
The statistics also show that those working under zero-hours contracts are more likely to be women, in full-time education and aged under 25 or over 65.
Clare Moore from Gordons says: “Once again, the question arises as to whether or not there has been an genuine rise in the use of zero-hours contracts or are the increased figures simply a result of the significant political and media attention the topic has generated, with more people than ever before recognising that they are employed on such a basis. Of particular significance is the statistic that a mere 2.4% of the working population are employed under zero-hours contracts, which does not support the Labour’s assertion that there is an “epidemic” of zero-hours contracts in the UK. Clearly in some business sectors, such as the care sector, the use of zero-hours contracts is very important for businesses when staffing requirements are difficult to predict week to week. When used correctly, zero-hours contracts can be a very useful tool, giving significant flexibility for both businesses and employees”.
To read the full article, please see BBC News.