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Number of zero-hour workers is now at 1.8m

By Alan Jones

The number of zero-hours contracts in the UK has increased to 1.8 million over the past year, new figures show.

The total in the year to last November increased from 1.7 million in the previous year, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The number of contracts not guaranteeing regular hours represents 6% of all employment contracts.

The ONS has previously reported that 901,000 workers are on zero-hours contracts.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Most people are not on zero-hour contracts by choice. They want the same rights, security and guaranteed hours as other employees.

"More than half of zero-hour contract workers have had jobs cancelled with less than a day's notice. Zero-hour contracts are a licence to treat people like disposable labour and the Government should ban them."

Stephen Clarke, of the Resolution Foundation think tank, said some workers appreciate the flexibility, but for others they bring insecurity and lower pay.

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