I have previously written about studies showing that zero hours contracts can be harmful to workers health, and my colleague Laura Macdonald has reported that as of May 2017 zero hours contracts remained popular with employers. However, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have in the last fortnight released updated statistics which suggest that the popularity of zero hours contracts is on the wane.
The ONS figures highlighted that there are currently 1.4 million workers on zero hours contracts, down from 1.7 million this time last year, and the lowest figure since January 2014.
Whether this decline is attributable to the negative publicity zero hours contracts have received in recent times, or are an indicator of changes in the labour market is, at present, unknown, but seems to suggest that businesses are becoming more reluctant to hire workers on zero hours contracts.
This news will undoubtedly be met with cheers from Trade Unions and other workers’ groups but this should be tempered with the fact that many workers, such as students or young workers prefer the flexibility that zero hours contract offer them and many will hope that these statistics do not signal the terminal decline of the zero hours contract.
Whatever the reasons for the reduction in zero hours contracts, this is still an active area of dispute and employees and workers have rights and should seek advice if these are being breached. If you are an employee who thinks that their employer may be breaching your employment rights please contact us online by clicking here or speak to a member of our specialist team on 0333 222 1855.