IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ilo/ilowps/994983192702676.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Zero-hours work in the United Kingdom

Author

Listed:
  • Adams, Abi.
  • Adams-Prassl, Jeremias.

Abstract

In this report, we provide a detailed study of zero-hours work in the United Kingdom. An initial section defines zero-hours work, emphasising key characteristics as well as overlaps between zero-hours work and other casual work arrangements, and draws parallels both with historic instances of on-demand work and current experiences of ‘if and when’ contracts in the Republic of Ireland. Section two presents the most recent available data on the prevalence and key characteristics of zero hours workers and employers, explaining the evolution of such work arrangements as well as the technical issues which make measuring the phenomenon through official labour market statistics particularly difficult. Section three complements the empirical evidence with an analysis of the effects of zero-hours work for workers, employers, and society more broadly. Our focus is not limited to the legal situation of those working under such arrangements, but also includes questions of social security entitlements, and wider implications such as business flexibility, cost savings, and productivity growth. As the fourth section explains, a growing awareness of the growth of zero-hours contracts from 2011 onwards brought about a marked increase in public discussion of the phenomenon, leading eventually to (limited) legislative intervention. We explore the positions taken by the social partners, before analysing historical as well as recent legislative responses, and setting out a case study of Parliament’s response to a particularly egregious instance of labour standards violations in warehouses operated by the sports equipment chain Sports Direct. A brief concluding section, finally, turns to a series of policy recommendations and broader considerations, with a view to finding a model in which (some of) the flexibility of zero-hours work arrangements might be preserved, without however continuing to pose a real threat to decent working conditions in the United Kingdom’s labour market.

Suggested Citation

  • Adams, Abi. & Adams-Prassl, Jeremias., 2018. "Zero-hours work in the United Kingdom," ILO Working Papers 994983192702676, International Labour Organization.
  • Handle: RePEc:ilo:ilowps:994983192702676
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ilo.userservices.exlibrisgroup.com/view/delivery/41ILO_INST/1251629420002676
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Egidio Farina & Colin Green & Duncan McVicar, 2020. "Zero Hours Contracts and Their Growth," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 58(3), pages 507-531, September.
    2. Farina, Egidio & Green, Colin P. & McVicar, Duncan, 2020. "Is Precarious Employment Bad for Worker Health? The Case of Zero Hours Contracts in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 13116, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Adams-Prassl, Abigail & Balgova, Maria & Qian, Matthias, 2020. "Flexible Work Arrangements in Low Wage Jobs: Evidence from Job Vacancy Data," IZA Discussion Papers 13691, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Egidio Farina & Colin Green & Duncan McVicar, 2021. "Are Estimates of Non‐Standard Employment Wage Penalties Robust to Different Wage Measures? The Case of Zero‐hour Contracts in the UK," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 370-399, July.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ilo:ilowps:994983192702676. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ilounch.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Vesa Sivunen (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ilounch.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.