Commenting on figures released by the Office for National Statistics today (Wednesday), which show the number of workers who say they are on a zero-hours contract has increased by 104,000 to 801,000, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“Zero-hour contracts may be a dream for cost-cutting employers. But they can be a nightmare for workers.
“Many people on zero-hours contracts are unable to plan for their future and regularly struggle with paying bills and having a decent family life.
“The so-called ‘flexibility’ these contracts offer is far too one-sided. Staff without guaranteed pay have much less power to stand up for their rights and often feel afraid to turn down shifts in case they fall out of favour with their boss.
“The European Union is proposing better rights for zero-hours workers – another reason why workers should be worried about the risks of Brexit.”
Research published by the TUC shows that average weekly earnings for zero-hours workers are just £188, compared to £479 for permanent workers.
Two-fifths (39%) of zero-hours workers earn less than £111 a week – the qualifying threshold for statutory sick pay – compared to 1 in 12 (8%) permanent employees.
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