Belfast Telegraph

Zero-hours workers 'earning £1k less than counterparts'

By Alan Jones

People on zero-hours contracts earn £1,000 a year less than other employees doing the same job, according to a study.

The Resolution Foundation said people on the controversial contracts, under which they do not know if they have work from one week to the next, face a "precarious pay penalty".

The difference is around 6.6%, or 93p an hour, but those in the lowest-paying jobs receive 9.5% less, research by the think tank discovered.

Agency workers and those in temporary jobs also receive less than those in similar employment, said the foundation, adding that wages were being held down because of the widespread use of zero-hours contracts.

Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: "Zero-hours contracts have hit the headlines in recent months for their widespread use in Sports Direct and JD Sports.

"But concern about the use and abuse of zero-hours contracts goes far wider than a few notorious firms.

"There is mounting evidence that their use is associated with a holding down of wages.

"While some people value the flexibility offered by zero hours contracts, they also carry a significant precarious pay penalty that can cost workers around £1,000 a year.

"As new ways of working continue to grow - from agency work to the gig economy and wider self-employment - we need a better understanding of how they help or hinder people's earnings and career prospects."

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