Zero-hours contracts: Government review to back right to request fixed employment

Helen Cahill
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Many workers in warehouses are employed on zero-hours contracts (Source: Getty)

A government inquiry will demand workers on zero-hours contracts be given the right to ask to shift into more stable work, according to reports.

Matthew Taylor, boss of the Royal Society of Arts, is undertaking a government review into working practices in the UK, and is set to publish his recommendations after the General Election.

Read more: Number of people on zero-hours contracts jumps to nearly 1m

The BBC reported that Taylor will call for workers to be given a "right to request" fixed hours if they are on contracts which do not guarantee a minimum number of hours, so-called zero-hours contracts.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) backed the idea in its submission to the Taylor review, saying: "A right to request fixed, or more fixed hours should be introduced on the same basis as the right to request flexible working, as a more effective tool to address these issues, without undermining workers' options or the enforcement of the minimum wage."

In addition, CBI has pushed for workers to have their key terms and conditions set out in a written statement.

The number of workers on zero-hours contracts jumped 13 per cent last year to 905,000, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. This means these workers now make up 2.8 per cent of people in employment in the UK.

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