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.

If you would like to discuss this article in further detail, please contact Clare Moore, on 01274 202 172 or at clare.moore@gordonsllp.com.