'Nightmare' zero-hours contracts on the rise, says Young Women's Trust

By agency reporter
December 31, 2018

More than a third of young people have been offered a zero-hours contract – a 20 per cent rise on last year, according to a Young Women’s Trust survey.

The charity, which supports young women on low or no pay, surveyed more than 4,000 young people to find that 36 per cent have been offered a zero-hours contract – compared to 30 per cent in 2017 and 2016. Young women are more likely to have been offered this type of insecure work (39 per cent) than young men (32 per cent).

A third of young people told the charity they are worried about not having enough paid hours to make ends meet. Even higher numbers are worried about their job security. In both cases, more women than men expressed concerns about their situation.

Young Women’s Trust, which provides free coaching and job application feedback services to help women into work, is calling for exploitative zero-hours contracts to be banned.

Commenting, Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton, said: “Low-paid, insecure work is shutting young women out of the work place. Trying to balance precarious shifts with childcare arrangements is a nightmare. Budgeting, paying your bills and planning ahead can be impossible when you don’t know how many hours you will be working or how much money you will have coming in each month.

“Our research shows that young women are far more likely than men to be in insecure work and are more worried about having enough hours to make ends meet. They often have no choice but to accept these contracts because they’re desperate for work.

“Flexible working has to benefit the employee, not just the employer. Providing stable, secure jobs would not only help workers, but businesses and the economy too.”

* Young Women's Trust https://www.youngwomenstrust.org/

[Ekk/6]

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.