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Almost 1 million on zero hours contracts after massive rise

18 Feb 2020
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GMB has expressed outrage after new figures show almost 1 million are on zero hours contracts after a sharp rise.

In total, 974,000 people were employed on zero hours contracts at the end of 2019, the ONS reported today [Tuesday 18 February 2020].

This represents an increase of 130,000 (or 15.4 per cent) compared to the same point last year. The latest total is the highest figure on record. [1]

Young workers were much more likely to be employed on zero hours contracts - 9.1 per cent of workers aged under 25, compared to 3 per cent of all workers.

GMB is campaigning for contracts that do not guarantee a minimum number of hours to be scrapped, in line with policies enacted in the Republic of Ireland and New Zealand.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:

“Companies are using zero hours contracts as a business model to avoid their responsibilities to the people who make them their money - these figures show that’s on the rise. 

“On a zero hours contract you don’t know what wage you’ll have coming in from week to week, you don’t know if you can pay the bills or buy the shopping and you cant say boo to a goose or you won’t get any hours the week after. People shouldn’t have to live like this - zero hours means zero security and zero rights. 

“Enough is enough, it’s time to follow the successful policies of other countries and ban these contracts once and for all.”

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