More than two-thirds of zero-hours workers aged over 25 have been with the same employer for more than a year, highlighting concerns that the insecure arrangements have become a permanent feature of working life for thousands of people. The Resolution Foundation found 400,000 over-25s on zero-hours contracts, 70% of the age group, had had the same employer for more than 12 months.
The independent thinktank said the research indicated that the use of the contracts “stretches well beyond those seeking short-term flexible work”. Conor D’Arcy, policy analyst at the foundation, said: “Many workers who are on a zero-hours contract want more stability, reliable hours and greater protection.”
The Office for National Statistics said workers were more likely to be contracted to large employers than smaller firms, and to work in the hotel and leisure industries. The health and education sectors followed closely behind, suggesting that more employers in the NHS, the care industry and universities have come to rely on zero-hours contracts. The foundation argued that for many of these workers, “fixed-hour employer contracts, which offer a guarantee of paid work and paid holiday and sick leave, would be more appropriate”.