Commenting on figures released by the Office for National Statistics today (Wednesday), which show the number of workers on zero-hours contracts has increased by 19 per cent to 744,000 over the past year, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

Zero-hours contracts are a stark reminder of Britain’s two-tier workforce.

“People employed on these contracts earn £300 a week less, on average, than workers in secure jobs.

“I challenge any minister or business leader to survive on a low-paid zero-hours contract job, not knowing from one day to the next how much work they will have.

“Try telling zero-hours workers who have been turned down by mortgage lenders and landlords that they are getting a good deal.

“We need a stronger and fairer recovery that works for everyone, not one that forces people to survive off scraps of work.

Cash 1 (PD)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 per cent) of zero-hours workers earn less than £111 a week – the qualifying threshold for statutory sick pay – compared to one in twelve (8 per cent) permanent employees.

The TUC estimates that in addition to Britain’s zero-hours workforce there are another 820,000 UK employees who report being underemployed on between 0 and 19 hours a week.

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