The Office of National Statistics has released figures showing that the number of 16-24 year-olds on zero hour contracts has more than doubled since the start of the recession.
These contracts give no guarantee of regular hours or pay. This allows businesses to offer extra shifts during busy periods, but offer no work whatsoever when business is slow. They are common in the retail and fast food sectors, but are becoming more widespread as businesses seek to survive in the economic downturn.
One in three zero hours employees are aged 16-24. Many report that the contracts mean constant worry about the ability to pay bills each month but these are the only jobs on offer and so they are forced to accept them. They say shifts are often or changed at the last minute, so workers have to cancel plans and struggle to arrange emergency childcare to avoid not being paid at all. Others say their shifts are merely cancelled with no notice and with no reasons given.
The businesses who use these contracts, though, say that they are keeping people in work. Confederation of British Industry spokesperson Neil Carberry told BBC News: “It’s zero hours contracts and other forms of flexible working that mean there are half a million fewer unemployed people than there might otherwise have been.”
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Andrew is a Commercial & Employment Law solicitor in Leicester. Our Solicitors in Leicester are experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Leicester please contact us.
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