Issue date
23 Apr 2018

Commenting on new figures published today (Monday) by the Office for National Statistics, which show that UK firms used 1.8 million zero-hour contacts in 2017 and that 901,000 people have a zero-hour contract as their main employment (final quarter of 2017), TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Most people are not on zero-hour contracts by choice. They want the same rights, security and guaranteed hours as other employees.

“More than half of zero-hour contract workers have had jobs cancelled with less than a day’s notice. Zero-hour contracts are a licence to treat people like disposable labour and the government should ban them.”

The TUC is holding a march and rally on London on Saturday 12 May demanding a new deal for working people.

Editors note

- A TUC commissioned poll of workers on zero-hour contracts published in December 2017 found that:

  • More than half (51%) of zero-hours workers have had shifts cancelled at less than 24 hours' notice.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) have been offered work at less than 24 hours' notice.
  • Only 25% say they prefer being on zero-hours contracts
  • Only 1 in 8 (12%) say they get sick pay.
  • Only 1 in 14 (7%) would get redundancy pay.
  • Two-fifths (43%) say they don’t get holiday pay.
  • Half (47%) say they do not get written terms and conditions.
  • Just 1 in 20 (5%) say they have the right to a permanent contract after working the same hours consistently.

The poll was conducted online during August 2017 by GQR Research. It surveyed 300 workers on zero-hours contracts and 2987 other workers, all in Great Britain. Results were weighted to the national profile of working people, by age, gender, ethnicity, full/part time contracts, public/private sector and industry. The zero-hours sample was separately weighted to national statistics for zero-hours workers, by gender, age, region, full/part-time hours and industry.

- For more information on A New Deal For Working People, the TUC’s march and rally on 12 May, please visit: www.tuc.org.uk/new-deal-working-people-tuc-march-and-rally

- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 5.5 million working people who make up our 49 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.