Up to one in three of the workforce are now in precarious employment – defined as those in the gig economy, on zero or short hours contracts, temporary workers, the underemployed and those at risk of bogus self-employment, according to a new survey for the GMB. Precarious work impacts on the individual worker, their family and on the Treasury.
The poll found:
- 61% suffered stress or anxiety as a result of their current job
- 61% have been to work while unwell for fear of not being paid, losing their job or missing out on future hours
- 35% would struggle to cope with an unexpected bill
- 69% say their cost of living is rising faster than their earnings
- 78% previously had permanent employment, highlighting the changing nature of the workplace
Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, says, “This paints a shocking picture of the modern world of work. Up to 10 million people go to work either not knowing what their hours are, if they’ll be able to pay the bills, or what their long term prospects are. That’s a sorry state of affairs in the 21st century and a product of government’s failure to tackle bogus self-employment, the use of agency contracts a business model and point blank refusal to ban zero hours contracts.
“We hear a lot about employment figures, well this research shows the today’s job market is based on a shaky foundation of insecure work where people are doing their best but still not able to get on. Insecure work impacts on people’s health, their families and whether they are able to plan for the future.
“If our economy slows down even further – these precarious workers will be the first to suffer.
“There is a political choice to be made. Our workforce, communities and indeed the Treasury is paying the price of insecure work, it’s not fair and it’s not sustainable.”