03 August 2023

One in five workers in ‘insecure’ jobs, research suggests

03 August 2023

One in five workers are in insecure jobs such as those in which they face short notice about their shifts, new research suggests.

A survey of 2,000 adults for the Living Wage Foundation found that insecure employment is “widespread” in the UK.

The report said health and social care workers are worst affected, followed by those in wholesale and retail, accommodation and food services, and education.

Many workers whose job involves variable hours or shift work, have been called into work with less than a week’s notice, with some having less than 24 hours’ notice, said the report.

The extent of low pay and insecure work in health and social work is particularly alarming

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “Soaring prices have rightly shone a spotlight on pay this past year, but this research makes clear that reliable working hours are as vital to workers’ financial resilience as a real living wage.

“The extent of low pay and insecure work in health and social work is particularly alarming.

“The sector holds some of the most important jobs to our society yet they are also the most precarious and poorly paid jobs in the UK labour market.

“With one in five health and social care workers routinely experiencing low pay and insecure work, something needs to change.

“That is why we’re calling on employers to join those who have already stepped up during this crisis and commit to provide workers with ‘living hours’ – secure, guaranteed hours and notice of shift patterns – alongside a real living wage.

“Action is required by both employers and the government to make this a reality in health and social care but it’s an investment that will benefit care workers and their families and is vital for the sector and wider society as our need for care continues to grow.”

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