Unemployed Brits turning down jobs if it means a zero hour contract

Almost half of unemployed people in Britain have rejected and turned down jobs because they were zero-hours contracts

Almost half of unemployed people in Britain have rejected and turned down jobs because they were zero-hours contracts, a new study has shown.

Nearly one in four unemployed adults in the UK have been offered zero-hour contracts, with older workers more likely to down the job, with their preference being no job rather than a zero-hours job.

The research from recruitment firm Glassdoor, who surveyed 1,000 unemployed adults in the UK, found that 47 per cent of those surveyed rejected the offer of a zero-hours contract, with 45 per cent believing the contracts are exploitative, while 39 per cent want the banned altogether.

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Overall, 40 per cent of unemployed adults said they would accept a zero-hour contract if they were offered one, with 47 per cent of 16-24 year olds willing to accept one. Only 24 per cent of those aged 55 or older said they would accept the contract.

Jon Ingham, from Glassdoor, said: “People that take zero hours contracts generally do so because they feel they have to rather than they want to.

“This could be interpreted as employers exploiting the most vulnerable – namely people who really need the money.

“However, for others it is a useful stop-gap, it can provide valuable work experience and the flexibility can be a positive, depending on your life stage.”

The contracts are often used by large employers, with figures at the start of the year from the Office of National Statistics reporting that 697,000 people in the UK were on zero-hour contracts, representing 2.3 per cent of the UK workforce. 72,000 of those are employed by retail and wholesale businesses, equivalent to around 1.8 per cent of the sector’s workforce.

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