Zero-hours contracts provide necessary flexibility in labour market

Len Shackleton features in Deutsche Welle

Len Shackleton, an economic fellow with the Institute of Economic Affairs and a professor at the University of Buckingham, said the arrangement benefits both employers and employees. "Most workers are young people who can't commit to particular working hours, or older, semi-retired people - many are not looking for permanent, full-time contracts," Shackleton told DW.

Last week, the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) had estimated the total number of zero hours contractors at around 250,000. The CIPD's survey of 1,000 businesses quadrupled this estimate to around 1 million, or about 4 percent of the total workforce.

Shackleton thinks the CIPD may have overestimated that amount. "The figure is likely to lie somewhere in between [the ONS and CIPD estimates]," Shackleton said.

Read the full story here.

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