Is the attraction of zero hours’ contracts reducing?

The trend for using controversial zero-hours contracts may be slowing, according to experts.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that 1.4m employment contracts did not guarantee a minimum number of hours in use in May 2017, down a third from a peak of 2.1m in May 2015.

883,000 people had a zero-hours contract role as their main job between April and June 2017, compared with 903,000 people between April and June 2016.
Zero-hours contracts have been widely criticised for not offering enough security to workers. A study released by Citizens Advice in January found nearly 20% of employers using zero-hours contracts changed or cancelled shifts with just 48 hours’ notice.

The government-backed Taylor Review, which was published in July and examined modern working practices, called for rights to be introduced to allow those who had been on zero-hours contracts for more than a year to request fixed hours from their employer which better reflected the hours they had actually been working.
Despite their name, the ONS also found that somebody on a zero-hours contract typically works 25.7 hours a week. However, around a quarter of people on zero-hours contracts wanted more hours.

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