‘Millions’ on zero hours contracts

Have your say

The number of workers on zero hours contracts could be as high as 5.5 million, suggesting a “growing sub class” of insecure, low paid employment, according to new research.

A study of 5,000 members of the Unite union found that more than one in five were on zero hours contracts – under which workers do not know if they have work from one week to the next – earning an average of £500 a month.

The figure is more than five times higher than previous estimates and was described as “staggering” by the union.

The study, by the social survey company Mass1, said to be the largest of its kind on the subject, suggested that the under 30s are more likely to be on a zero hours contract with half of respondents falling into the 16-30 category.