The number of workers on zero hours contracts is up by a fifth in 12 months to 903,000.
The news has been greeted with anger by the TUC which today reveals the average zero-hours worker earns 50% less per hour than an employee.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady blasted: Zero hours contracts have become an easy way for bosses to employ staff on the cheap.
The number who say they are on contracts with no guaranteed hours for their main job has shot up 20.8% from 747,000 for the same period last year, according to the Office for National Statistics .
It found those on zero hours do an average of 25 hours a week, with one in three wanting more. Women are more likely than men to be on the contracts.
Ms O’Grady added: There is no getting away from the fact zero hours workers earn less and have fewer rights than those in permanent jobs.
The TUC is publishing its research after Sports Direct was shamed into offering all shop staff on the contracts at least 12 guaranteed hours a week instead.
Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey blamed the Tories: Since they unleashed austerity on working people in 2010, insecure, poorly rewarded work has risen three-fold.
But Conor D’Arcy, of the think-tank Resolution Foundation, said: Banning zero hours contracts is not the answer, as it punishes workers who prefer the flexibility. But they need far closer scrutiny.
News Source MirrorNews