Record Number of 16-24s on Zero Hours Contracts at Work

Great many young people share that their jobs are insecure and the salaries they get are not based on regular hours.

According to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the number of the 16 to 24-year-olds whose contracts are either fictitious or absent has doubled since the economic downturn started.

The opinion of critics is that in most of the cases this leads to exploitation.

The explanation of companies is that they could leave these people unemployed but that they preferred to give them the chance to work and earn some money.

The beginning of the so-called zero hours contracts, was put on the high street in sectors like fast food and retail.

This way bosses have the possibility to change shifts each week and this is in fact legal.

Usually employees have to be available for work in the cases when they do not need a certain shift they may legally turn it down.

Vidhya Alakeson at the Resolution Foundation, which studies the labour market said such zero hours employment contracts were in some ways better as many people tried to combine studying or childcare with working so this appeared as a good option for a certain income.

In 2008 the statistics showed that this group of people was 35,000 and in 2012 it was 76,000

The 22-year-old Jessica said:
“It’s all right for students or people who live at home but if you have to support yourself then you need security and a set wage every month.”

However, the number of people who complain that they have shifts added, cancelled or changed at the last minute is also big.

Neil Carberry at the CBI said: “It’s zero hours contracts and other forms of flexible working that mean there are half a million fewer unemployed people than there might otherwise have been.”