Zero-hour contracts down by 300,000

The number of contracted workers that are not guaranteed a minimum number of hours has fallen by 300,000 over the past 12 months, according to official figures.

The number of controversial zero-hour contracts has fallen to 1.4 million in May, compared with 1.7 million the previous year.

Responding to the figures, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady says the new figure is still too high, adding: “While it’s good that some employers have ditched them as a result of union campaigning, let’s not pretend that life at the sharp end has become easier overnight.

“One in 10 UK workers remain in insecure jobs. The spread of low-paid self-employment, agency work and short-hours contracts mean millions are struggling to get by.”

Although there has been a significant drop in insecure work contracts, zero-hour contracts as a share of total contracts remains unchanged at 5%. The figures have been compiled from survey results from British businesses.

The Office for National Statistics says people on zero-hours contracts are more likely to be young, part-time, female or in full-time education.