date: 3 July 2013
embargo: For immediate release
Commenting on figures published today (Wednesday) by Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham MP, which show that over 300,000 workers in the care sector alone are employed on zero hours contracts, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said:
'These shocking figures confirm what we have suspected all along - the rise in zero hours working is far greater than official reports suggest.
'The fact that over 300,000 workers in the care sector alone are employed on these contracts reveals the true extent of this worrying trend. Social care is not the only sector to be experiencing high levels of zero hours contracts - higher education, legal services and journalism all have large numbers of people working on these insecure terms and conditions.
'This rise in zero hours working is bad for employees and also for service users, many of whom are vulnerable adults. People want to see the same person whether it's their regular carer or college tutor - something that is severely hindered by zero hours contracts.
'Secure employment would allow staff to concentrate more on their jobs instead of having to worry from one to day to the next whether they will have any work or money to pay for food and bills.
'The TUC welcomes the government's current review of zero hours contracts. We will be asking ministers to consider introducing regulation to prevent their continued misuse.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in May revealed that the number of workers on zero hours contracts in all industries had nearly doubled in 2012 to reach 200,000.
- Figures published by Andy Burnham today show that 307,000 workers in the care sector alone are employed on zero hours contracts.
- The TUC's campaign plan can be downloaded from www.tuc.org.uk/campaignplan
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews
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