This briefing focusses on a concerning aspect of the rise of the zero hours contract – the insecurity of working hours and income caused by workers being guaranteed no set amount of work, or even any hours at all in any given week. The human impact of the insecurity of income can be seen through the stories of CAB clients who have been forced to borrow from payday lenders and even resort to food banks because of significant variances in their pay from week to week. In this situation, budgeting can be impossible and the safety net of the benefits system inaccessible because of the unpredictable nature of their working hours. We make a number of recommendations including a call for workers on a zero hours contract to be given a statutory ‘right to request’ a contract that guarantees hours, without fear of dismissal.
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