Recruitment

Zero-hour workers as happy as permanent staff, research finds

Fred Heritage | 7 December 2015 | 8 years ago

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The number of people working on zero- hours contracts in the UK has reached 1.3 million in 2015
Workers on zero-hour contracts are just as fulfilled by their job and work-life balance as full-time employees, new research conducted by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) has shown.

With the number of people employed on zero-hour contracts having increased from around one million in 2013 to 1.3 million in 2015, the research also indicated that those on zero-hours get on just as well with their colleagues as permanently employed staff.

Drawing on data from the Office for National Statistic’s (ONS) Labour Force Survey, the CIPD’s Employee Outlook survey and the Labour Market Outlook, the research concluded that the proportion of zero-hour workers who are either very satisfied or satisfied with their jobs is 65 per cent, compared with 63 per cent of all employees.

In addition, 62 per cent of those on zero-hour contracts say they have the correct work-life balance as opposed to 58 per cent of all employees, and are less likely to feel under excessive pressure at work. The vast majority (88 per cent) of zero-hour staff choose to work part-time, with only 22 per cent saying they’d like to work more hours.

Commenting on the research, chief executive of the CIPD, Peter Cheese, said: What the report highlights is that contract type isn’t usually the main factor driving someone’s job satisfaction. How people are managed, the work load they are under and their relationship with their line manager are usually more important.

if we simply focus on zero-hours contracts as the source of poor quality working lives, we risk ignoring the bigger systemic issues which create low skilled and low quality work, Cheese added.

Chief economist at the CIPD, Mark Beatson, said: As in all forms of employment, there is scope to improve the practice and operation of zero-hours contracts. The key principle for their effective and ethical use is that, wherever possible, the flexibility they offer should work for the individual as well as the employer.

well-managed zero hours contracts can be an effective means of matching the needs and requirements of modern business and modern working lives, but as the numbers continue to rise, it’s important that employers understand how to make this match, he added.

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