‘Over a third of young people offered zero hours contracts’

A survey by the Young Women’s Trust shows an increase in the number of young people offered zero hours contracts.

The number of young people, particularly young women, who have been offered zero hours contracts has risen by 20 per cent in the last year, according to a Young Women’s Trust survey.

The charity surveyed more than 4,000 young people and found that 36 per cent have been offered a zero-hours contract – compared to 30 per cent in 2017 and 2016. Young women are more likely to have been offered this type of insecure work (39 per cent) than young men (32 per cent).

A third of young people told the charity they are worried about not having enough paid hours to make ends meet. Many said they were worried about their job security. In both cases, more women than men expressed concerns about their situation.

The Young Women’s Trust is calling for exploitative zero-hours contracts to be banned.

Dr Carole Easton, Young Women’s Trust chief executive, said: “Low-paid, insecure work is shutting young women out of the work place. Trying to balance precarious shifts with childcare arrangements is a nightmare. Budgeting, paying your bills and planning ahead can be impossible when you don’t know how many hours you will be working or how much money you will have coming in each month.

“Our research shows that young women are far more likely than men to be in insecure work and are more worried about having enough hours to make ends meet. They often have no choice but to accept these contracts because they’re desperate for work.

“Flexible working has to benefit the employee, not just the employer. Providing stable, secure jobs would not only help workers, but businesses and the economy too.”

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