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  • New report shows that 1 in 9 workers are in precarious jobs

The TUC has today (Monday) called on the new Prime Minister to get on with enhancing workers’ rights now and to abandon his threat of a no-deal Brexit.

The call comes as new TUC analysis shows that 1 in 9 workers – 3.7 million of the workforce – are in precarious jobs.

The report shows that:

  • Nearly two million (1.85m) are stuck in low-paid self-employment earning less than the minimum wage
  • And a similar number are in other forms of insecure work – including zero-hours, agency, seasonal and casual workers
  • These workers often have no security of income and frequently miss out on key workplace rights such as sick pay, parental leave or holidays.

The TUC says that under a no-deal Brexit Britain’s insecure work crisis would mushroom, with vital workplace protections no longer guaranteed for any worker.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Boris Johnson needs to stop threatening a no-deal Brexit – which would be a disaster for workers’ rights – and get on with enhancing labour protections now.

“We already have an insecure work crisis in Britain. Crashing out of Europe would make things far worse.

“A good start would be to ban zero-hours contracts and give low-paid workers the right to speak to a union in their workplace.

“It’s not right that millions of workers still don’t know how much they’ll earn from one week to the next. And that so many are being denied even the most basic workplace rights.”

The report sets out a clear checklist for the new PM and business secretary to improve working people’s lives. It calls on the new administration to:

  • Ban zero-hours contracts and clamp down on false self-employment
  • Give all workers the same basic rights - including redundancy pay and family-friendly rights.
  • Give workers the freedom to be protected by a union in every workplace
Editors note

- The report contains figures that show insecure workers are often in core industries:

  • One in six workers (17 per cent) in social care and leisure roles are in insecure work.
  • Nearly one in five (19 per cent) of those in skilled trades are in insecure work.
  • So too are one in five (20 per cent) of those in ‘elementary roles’ – including kitchen assistants, security guards and farm workers

- Insecure work: The total number in ‘insecure work’ includes

(1) agency, casual, seasonal and other workers, but not those on fixed – term contracts,

(2) workers whose primary job is a zero-hours contract,

(3) self-employed workers who are paid less than the National Living Wage (£8.21).

Data on temporary workers and zero-hour workers is taken from the Labour Force Survey (Q4 2018). Double counting has been excluded.

For low-paid self-employment: The minimum wage for adults over 25 is currently £8.21 and is also known as the National Living Wage. The number of working people aged 25 and over earning below £8.21 is 1,850,000 from a total of 4,030,000 self-employed workers in the UK. The figures come from analysis of data for 2017/18 (the most recent available) in the Family Resources Survey and were commissioned by the TUC from Landman Economics. The Family Resources Survey suggests that fewer people are self-employed than other data sources, including the Labour Force Survey.

- To read the full report, follow this link: https://www.tuc.org.uk/research-analysis/reports/insecure-work

- Congress 2019: will be held in the Brighton Centre from Sunday 8 September to Wednesday 11 September. Free media passes can be obtained by visiting www.tuc.org.uk/applying-media-or-external-visitor-credentials and completing an online form. Applications must be in by noon on Tuesday 27 August. Any received later than that will be processed in Brighton and will cost £75 +VAT.

- 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 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.