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Zero-hours workers not as unhappy as first thought, survey shows

12th December 2013

The report said that workers on the employment contracts, which do not guarantee work from one week to the next but still show a worker as ‘employed’ by the company, are “more likely to be happy with their work-life balance than other staff”.

Of the 2,500 workers questioned by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) 456 were on zero-hours contracts. Of those, more than half said they would not want to work more hours and four out of five said they had suffered no penalty if they were unable to work.

Of the UK employees questioned 58% agreed they were happy with their work life, compared to 65% of the zero hours workers.

However, the CIPD noted that there were still some issues with poor practice among some companies and that many employers and employees did not fully understand the employment law rights associated with such contracts.

Steve Radley, Director of Policy at manufacturers’ organisation EEF, said, “The debate on zero-hours contracts has become unbalanced and needs greater focus on the benefits it can bring to both workers and employers.”

Hopes are high among workers’ groups and employment lawyers that the proposed government consultation on zero-hours employment contracts will help to improve understanding of their effectiveness within the law rather than trying to bring in regulation to restrict their use.

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