800,000 zero-hours workers ‘deserve rights’

800,000 zero-hours workers ‘deserve rights’

At present, there a record number of people with jobs in the UK, however employees are on average worse off by more than £50 compared to a decade ago, a new report reveals.

There are 32.39 million in work, this is an additional 2.1 million more people that have been employed since the 2008 financial crash – with the poorest third of households accounting for half of this increase.

The Resolution Foundation said before the economic crisis hit people were receiving on average £13 more in real terms in their pay packet.

Chief Economic Analyst Stephen Clarke said: “Britain is in the midst of a long and painful pay squeeze. Further progress towards full employment and a long-overdue return to decent pay growth hold the key to higher living standards in the coming years.”

Almost half of these additional workers have only low-level qualifications, while similar proportions are from ethnic minorities, the foundation’s report indicates. Furthermore, the proportion of single parents in work has increased from seven per cent in 2008 to 67 per cent.

However, Torsten Bell from the foundation expressed his concern for the 800,000 workers that are on zero hour contracts. He said that these employees should have more rights, including a greater advance notice of shifts.

It was calculated that for city workers the average salary is £25,377 excluding bonuses and hefty pay-outs. Taking into account inflation this resulted in the typical employee being £676 a year worse off than before the crash.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The Government is turning a blind eye to Britain’s living standards crisis — ministers must get wages rising faster now.”

Labour’s John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, said: “The findings are a stark example of how brutal Tory pay restraint and austerity has led to a crisis in living standards for families.”

In response, a Government spokesman said: “We have more people in work than ever before, and the national living wage has helped deliver the fastest earnings boost for the lowest paid in 20 years.”