Big rise in zero hours work

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

THE num­ber of young peo­ple of­fered a zero hours con­tract has in­creased by a fifth this year, new re­search sug­gests.

A study by the Young Women’s Trust in­di­cated that more than a third of peo­ple in Eng­land and Wales had been of­fered one of the con­tro­ver­sial con­tracts in 2018. Young women were more likely to be asked to carry out zero hours work, said the char­ity.

A sur­vey of 4,000 young peo­ple found that a third said they were wor­ried about not hav­ing enough paid hours to make ends meet.

The Trust called for “ex­ploita­tive” zero hours con­tracts to be banned.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Ca­role Eas­ton said: “Low-paid, in­se­cure work is shut­ting young women out of the work­place. Try­ing to bal­ance pre­car­i­ous shifts with child­care ar­range­ments is a night­mare.

“Bud­get­ing, pay­ing your bills and plan­ning ahead can be im­pos­si­ble when you don’t know how many hours you will be work­ing or how much money you will have com­ing in each month.

“Our re­search shows that young women are far more likely than men to be in in­se­cure work and are more wor­ried about hav­ing enough hours to make ends meet.

“They of­ten have no choice but to ac­cept these con­tracts be­cause they’re des­per­ate for work.

“Flex­i­ble work­ing has to ben­e­fit the em­ployee, not just the em­ployer. Pro­vid­ing sta­ble, se­cure jobs would not only help work­ers, but busi­nesses and the econ­omy too.”

A Gov­ern­ment spokesman said: “Youth un­em­ploy­ment has fallen by al­most half since 2010 and flex­i­ble work helps peo­ple get back into em­ploy­ment by al­low­ing them to choose jobs that suit their cir­cum­stances.

“Peo­ple on zero-hour con­tracts make up only 2.4% of the labour mar­ket, and 75% of the 3.4 mil­lion new jobs cre­ated since 2010 have been per­ma­nent and full-time em­ploy­ment.”

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