Laura Macdonald | Senior Associate

Can Zero Hours contracts be bad for your health?

Zero hours contracts are regularly criticised in the press for their negative impact on workers’ rights and wages, but can they be harmful to your health? Yes, according to a recent study by University College London’s Institute of Education.

Their study of 25 year old workers has found that those employed on zero hours contracts were one and a half times more likely to report mental health issues than those on regular hours, and also significantly more at risk of reporting physical health issues.

These statistics have been attributed to the uncertainty that zero hours contracts bring, with workers being unable to budget from week to week for essentials such as food and utilities as they cannot guarantee what their pay will be, and the stress, both mental and physical that results from this. The study also attributed the anxiety and financial impact of the ‘low-status’ of most zero hours jobs as having a negative impact on the mental health of young workers, who have entered the workforce during one of the most challenging economic downturns the UK has faced.

With nearly two million people employed in the UK on zero hours contracts, making up around 6% of all employment contracts, this is an issue that will undoubtedly continue to affect workers for some time to come.

If you are an employee who has a query about zero hours contracts, or an employer who has zero hours workers or are looking for advice on employing workers on zero hours contracts, contact us today to arrange an initial free consultation. Please contact us online by clicking here or speak to a member of our specialist team on 0333 222 1855.

Laura Macdonald

Laura Macdonald

Employment Law Team

“I strive to provide clear and practical advice to clients, focussing on the individual or organisation’s particular circumstances and requirements.”

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