“Nightmare” zero-hours contracts on the rise, says YWT

Saturday 29 December 2018

YWT LOGOMore than a third of young people have been offered a zero-hours contract – a 20 per cent rise on last year, according to a Young Women’s Trust survey.

The charity, which supports young women on low or no pay, surveyed more than 4,000 young people to find that 36 per cent have been offered a zero-hours contract – compared to 30 per cent in 2017 and 2016. Young women are more likely to have been offered this type of insecure work (39 per cent) than young men (32 per cent).

A third of young people told the charity they are worried about not having enough paid hours to make ends meet. Even higher numbers are worried about their job security. In both cases, more women than men expressed concerns about their situation.

Young Women’s Trust, which provides free coaching and job application feedback services to help women into work, is calling for exploitative zero-hours contracts to be banned.

Commenting, Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said:

“Low-paid, insecure work is shutting young women out of the work place. Trying to balance precarious shifts with childcare arrangements is a nightmare. Budgeting, paying your bills and planning ahead can be impossible when you don’t know how many hours you will be working or how much money you will have coming in each month.

“Our research shows that young women are far more likely than men to be in insecure work and are more worried about having enough hours to make ends meet. They often have no choice but to accept these contracts because they’re desperate for work.

“Flexible working has to benefit the employee, not just the employer. Providing stable, secure jobs would not only help workers, but businesses and the economy too.”


Notes to editor:

1. Young Women’s Trust supports and represents women aged 16-30 in England and Wales trapped by low or no pay and facing a life of poverty. The charity provides services and runs campaigns to make sure that the talents of young women don't go to waste.

2. All figures unless otherwise stated are based on findings from a survey carried out for Young Women’s Trust by Populus Data Solutions. A representative sample of 4,010 18-30 year olds in England and Wales, with panel services provided by Populus Live, were surveyed between 29 June-16 July 2018. The survey shows that:

a. 36 per cent have been offered a zero-hours contract (compared to 30 per cent in 2017 and 30 per cent in 2016 – a rise of six percentage points, or 20 per cent);

b. 29 per cent are worried about not having enough paid hours (31 per cent women, 27 per cent men); and

c. 38 per cent are worried about their job security (40 per cent women, 36 per cent men).

3. For more information or case studies, please contact Bex Bailey at bex.bailey@youngwomenstrust.org or on 07963018281