Dorset sees a rise in workers on zero-hour contracts

Dorset sees a rise in workers on zero-hour contracts

Published by Maria Greenwood at 12:15pm 25th February 2020.

The South West has seen the biggest rise in workers on zero-hours contracts since records began.

The latest survey by TUC suggests there are more workers being employed on zero hours contracts than ever before.

More than 16,000 people in Dorset are believed to be employed on zero-hours contracts and 107,000 workers across the South West.

The TUC say that's an increase of 42% from the previous year and also the largest volume since records began.

House Construction

The trade union says that even though this means there are higher levels of employment, it's no time for celebration. 

According to the TUC South West, insecure employment contracts often have a negative impact on workers' lives, which makes it hard for them to stay afloat financially.

Following a recent survey of zero-hours workers conducted by TUC they found:

  • The main reason workers take on zero-hours contracts is because it's the only type of work available to them. But, most wish for an alternative, permanent contract.
  • 54% say that workers struggle to pay bills because they can't get enough work.
  • Most have had shifts cancelled last minute thus making it difficult to plan child-care and personal appointments.
reception worker in hotel

Nigel Costley is the regional secretary of the TUC south West.

He says that nobody can earn a living or raise a family on this type of insecurity:

"We know the majority of workers on zero-hours contracts don't want to be on them.

"They're completely one-sided and cause so much financial strain.

"Most of these contracts are also used in essential, yet low paid industries like hospitality, construction and social care. 

"The flexibility for workers claimed as an advantage of zero-hour contracts can still be achieved in ways that are not so unfair."

The TUC has also calculated the government loses £1.9 billion a year because zero-hours workers earn on average a third less than permanent workers.