3 May 2017
The report, International Trends in Insecure Work, was commissioned by the TUC from the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR). It finds that:
The UK’s high placement for growth in these categories of work cannot be explained simply as a result of strong employment growth overall. Germany had the fastest overall employment growth of any EU country during the period, but its number (and proportion) of temporary and self-employed workers has fallen.
The report finds that the absence of effective legislation in the UK to regulate insecure work has allowed the growth of atypical employment, like zero-hours contracts. By contrast, atypical workers elsewhere in the EU tend to have stronger legal protections and greater job security. For example:
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“We don’t need to accept insecure jobs as a necessary evil to get more people into work. In Germany, employment growth has been the strongest in the EU, but at the same time insecure employment has declined.
“It’s time Britain stopped being a soft touch for bad bosses. Otherwise the dodgy practices we’ve seen from employers like Hermes and Sports Direct will spread to more and more working people.
“All the parties must explain in their election manifestos how they will improve the rights of working people. There are millions of insecure workers in Britain who need a government that will flex its muscles to fight their corner, and stand up to bosses who treat them badly.
“If countries like France, the Netherlands and Germany can give their working people more protection, Britain can too.”
NIESR Researcher Nathan Hudson-Sharp said:
“While insecure work in other European countries has been characterised by the emergence of regulation and policy, the UK has noticeably lacked much needed new legislation.
“The UK therefore stands out for having very precarious forms work, and for creating arrangements where workers are at particular risk of insecurity.”
Notes to Editors:
- The full report International Trends in Insecure Work can be downloaded here.
- The report focuses on:
- To improve protections for insecure workers in the UK, the TUC is calling for the political parties to make manifesto commitments to: