The number of people employed on zero-hours contracts has increased by 15% to its highest ever level in the UK.
For the three months to December 31 2015 the number of zero-hours contracts reached 104,000, according to Office for National Statistics. That equates to 801,000 workers, or 2.5% or the UK’s workforce. This compares to 697,000 workers in the same period in 2014.
Sports Direct is known to employ 75% of its workforce, or 15,000 workers, on zero-hours contracts.
Of those on the contracts, 38% are aged 16-24 years and 23% of all workers are in full time education. Employees on zero-hours contracts work 26 hours a week on average. Just over one third, or 37%, of these workers would choose to work more hours if they could, compared to just 10% of people in other kinds of employment.
The youngest people in the workforce make up a huge number of those on zero-hours contracts. Some 38% of people on zero-hours contracts are aged 16-24, and 23% of all workers on these contracts are in full-time education.