ONS estimates close to 1.4 million on zero-hours contracts

A report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has estimated that there are 1.4 million UK workers employed on contracts that do not guarantee minimum hours. The ONS said that most of the contracts it identified were zero-hours, under which people are not guaranteed work from one week to the next. Previously, the ONS had estimated that were 582,935 workers employed on such contracts. This increased estimate is based on a survey of 5,000 employers. The new figure concurs with a recent estimate from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development that had estimated one million people, or 3.1 per cent of the workforce, were on such contracts.

According to the research, almost half of all firms in tourism, catering and food sectors use ‘non-guaranteed-hours contracts’, while around 13 per cent of UK firms use zero-hours contracts, including one in five health and social-work businesses. Workers under 25 years of age and those over 65 were more likely to be employed on a zero-hours basis. Two thirds of those counted worked part time. Female employees are thought to make up 55 per cent of the total with zero-hours contracts…

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