There has been a 6% rise in the use of zero-hours contracts by UK businesses in the last year, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
But far from a form of employment equivalent to modern slavery (as they are often portrayed), zero hours contracts have boosted UK employment and acted as a vital crutch as the country emerged from the Great Recession, says The Entrepreneurs Network’s Programmes Director Annabel Denham in the Huffington Post.
Former problems with the contracts – such as exclusivity causes which prevented people from working for more than one employer – had led to employees being treated unfairly. However, these were rightly scrapped earlier this year. Recent polls now show that employee satisfaction among those on zero hours is greater than those in full-time employment: 65% are happy with their work-life balance, compared with 58% of average workers (the CIPD found).
As she points out:
“But whether or not the number of people on zero hours contracts is on the up (the ONS has warned against that conclusion, saying that it could just be that more people are aware of the contracts), they are here to stay. “We should not lament or celebrate an increase in the number of people using them,” James Sproule said last week, but rather acknowledge that they are a small – but important – part of the UK’s flexible labour market.”
Read the blog in full here.