People on zero-hour contracts are more than twice as likely to work night shifts, and are paid a third less an hour than other workers, the TUC says.
It concluded the "exploitative" system should be banned. It says the flexibility such contracts offer are only "good for employers".
TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said "the vast majority" of people on zero-hours contracts "want out". Zero-hours workers regularly work through the night for low pay, putting their health at risk. And many face the constant uncertainty of not knowing when their next shift will come," she added.
Zero-hours contracts create insecurity for workers and are used by employers to undercut wages and avoid holiday pay and pension contributions.
The research also suggests:
The median hourly pay before tax for someone on a zero-hour contract was £7.70 compared to £11.80 for other workers
It found 23% of zero-hour contracts have night work as a usual part of their working pattern, compared to 11% of other workers