According to the latest estimates of the number of contracts that do not guarantee a minimum number of hours indicates that there are 1.7 million such contracts, which make up six percent of all employment contracts.

These figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) include its own data November 2016 and the most recent data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) of households covering October to December 2016.

According to the LFS the number of people employed on “zero-hours contracts” in their main job, during October to December 2016 was 905,000, representing 2.8% of all people in employment. This latest estimate is 101,000 higher than that for October to December 2015 (804,000 or 2.5% of people in employment)” reports the ONS.

The ONS does say however that “……the number of businesses making some use of these contracts fell”.

Time (PD)

Commenting, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

Today’s figures show that without government action, zero-hours contracts will remain a reality for many people.

“While it’s good that some companies are moving away from using them, there are a staggering 1.7 million zero-hours contracts still in use.

“Let’s not pretend that life at the sharp end of the labour market is getting easier. There is growing evidence of firms employing staff on short-hours contracts to avoid the bad PR associated with zero-hours jobs.

“These contracts guarantee as little as one hour a week, and like zero-hours contracts leave workers at the beck and call of their bosses.

“Every party manifesto must have real commitments to crack down on zero-hours contracts and other forms of insecure work.

The TUC is calling for:

  • People working regular hours to have a right to a guaranteed-hours contract.
  • People on variable-hours contracts to get overtime pay for hours outside of their contracts.
  • All workers to have a right to a written statement of terms, conditions and working hours, from day one.
  • Everyone at work to get the same rights as an employee, unless the employer can show that they are genuinely self-employed.
  • Agency workers should be entitled to the going rate for the job, on an equal basis with directly-employed workers.

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