Flexibility or insecurity? Exploring the rise in zero hours contracts
09 July 2013
Zero-hours contracts – where the employee has no guarantee of
work, but is expected to work when required – are an increasing part of the UK
labour market. While still a small share of employment, they are important in
sectors such as care, retail and hospitality. And there are concerns their use
is spreading into higher education and the NHS.
For some, these are exploitative contracts which provide
insecure employment at the whim of the employer. Yet for others they offer the
flexibility employers need to keep employment high despite the weak economy.
What’s the truth behind zero hours contracts? And what should the response from
policymakers and employers be?
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