New research suggests that the number of workers on zero hour contracts, with no guarantee of hours or pay, are becoming more widespread.
Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shows that there are up to a million workers on zero hour contracts. The survey also showed that only 14% of workers on these contracts were let down by their employers by them failing to provide sufficient hours each week.
However figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that only 250,000 people on zero hour contracts.
Zero hour contracts have become more widespread over recent years, particularly in the hospitality and retail sectors, where businesses view them as a cost effective way of satisfying short term staffing needs by using ‘on call’ staff.
Peter Cheese the CIPD’s CEO said:
‘Zero hours contracts, used appropriately, can provide flexibility for employers and employees and can play a positive role in creating more flexible working opportunities. This can for example allow parents of young children, carers, students and others to fit work around their home lives.’
‘However, for some this may be a significant disadvantage where they need more certainty in their working hours and earnings, and we need to ensure that proper support for employees and their rights are not being compromised through such arrangements. Zero hours contracts cannot be used simply to avoid an employer’s responsibilities to its employees.’