A briefing paper examined the evidence around zero-hours contracts.
Source: Doug Pyper and Feargal McGuinness, Zero-hours Contracts, Standard Note SN/BT/6553, House of Commons Library
Links: Briefing paper
A paper examined the link between part-time work and poverty in European Union countries. The extent to which part-time work was associated with poverty varied considerably, far more so than for full-time workers. Involuntary part-time work clearly stood out as most problematic, although an increased poverty risk was not confined to it. Part-time work was most problematic where it was an inferior choice from the perspective of preferred working hours, earnings, and employment security. Moreover, part-timers sometimes faced a 'double income penalty', in that they were more likely to have lower earnings and reduced eligibility for certain social transfers – though in some countries the reverse was the case.
Source: Jeroen Horemans and Ive Marx, In-Work Poverty in Times of Crisis: Do part-timers fare worse?, ImPRovE Discussion Paper 13/14, Centre for Social Policy (Antwerp University)
A think-tank report called for a more systematic investigation of zero-hours contracts than the review commissioned by coalition government. It said that existing official statistics were unreliable, and that an in-depth review was required to identify the full extent of such contracts, and how and why they were being used.
Source: Ian Brinkley, Flexibility or Insecurity? Exploring the rise in zero hours contracts, Work Foundation
The Office for National Statistics announced plans for an additional regular estimate of the number of 'zero-hours' employment contracts in the workforce, after conceding that its existing statistics probably underestimated the true extent of the practice.
Source: Press release 22 August 2013, Office for National Statistics
A think-tank report said that people employed on zero-hours contracts which did not guarantee any hours of work were paid less than those working set hours. Zero-hours workers earned on average £9 per hour (gross) compared with £15 per hour for those with more conventional contracts. Among graduates, the difference was even starker: those on zero hours were earning an average of £10 per hour, compared with £20 for those with set hours. Workplaces that used zero-hours contracts had a higher proportion of low-paid staff than those that did not. Workers on zero-hours contracts also worked fewer hours on average 21 hours per week compared with 31 hours for more conventional contracts suggesting that the growing use of zero-hours contracts might be contributing to rising rates of under-employment.
Source: Matthew Pennycook, Giselle Cory, and Vidhya Alakeson, A Matter of Time: The rise of zero-hours contracts, Resolution Foundation
An article examined labour market policies implemented by European Union member states in response to the economic crisis (focusing on Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Czech Republic), and the implications of the crisis for the European Commission's flexicurity agenda. Responses to the crisis had been shaped by established features of national employment regimes in the four countries: but each employment regime was also affected by the implementation of austerity measures, which undermined conditions for implementing those components of flexicurity that had appealed most to trade unions.
Source: Jason Heyes, 'Flexicurity in crisis: European labour market policies in a time of austerity', European Journal of Industrial Relations, Volume 19 Number 1
An article examined the 'bundles' that could be found for various flexible working-time arrangements in Europe. Working-time arrangements could be grouped into two bundles, one for the employee-centred arrangements and the other for the employer-centred arrangements. Three country clusters were found: the first included the northern European countries together with Poland and the Czech Republic; the second comprised the continental European countries with United Kingdom and Ireland; and the third included the southern European countries with Hungary and Slovenia.
Source: Heejung Chung and Kea Tijdens, 'Working time flexibility components and working time regimes in Europe: using company-level data across 21 countries', International Journal of Human Resource Management, Volume 24 Issue 7