Zero Hour Contract ONS Update – April to June 2015

A generation of unease

By Youth Ambassador Jack Welch

In new figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the rate of people working on Zero Hour Contracts (ZHC), which are defined as ‘contracts that do not guarantee hours’, have increased slightly compared to this time last year. From April to June 2015, the Labour Force Survey determined that 744,000 individuals were on a ZHC, which makes up for 2.4% of the overall share of the UK workforce. This is up from 624,000 in that same period last year, which equates to 2% in the same statistic. The ONS has suggested that the increase is due to recognition by employers of ZHCs, rather than ‘new contracts’.

Around 40% of those people who are currently on ZHCs indicated they wanted more hours in their current positions and people under 25 and women in general were highlighted as a higher proportion overall of people on ZHCs. For those aged 16-24, the contrast of those on a ZHC and not were stark. 34% were indicated to be in this form of work, compared to 12% of those who are not. However, it must be accounted that 20% of people who take a ZHC are in full-time education already. Women also made up 54% of this rate, whereas 47% were not on this type of work.

For official details, please see http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lmac/contracts-with-no-guaranteed-hours/employee-contracts-that-do-not-guarantee-a-minimum-number-of-hours–2015-update-/employee-contracts-that-do-not-guarantee-a-minimum-number-of-hours–2015-update.html#tab-conclusions.

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