Nearly half, or 47%, of jobs created in the North West since 2011 have been in insecure work, according to new research commissioned by the TUC from the Learning and Work Institute. The analysis shows that between 2011 and 2016 employment in the region grew by 197,503. And that 93,517 of these were in insecure jobs – work without guaranteed hours or baseline employment rights.
'Insecure work' is defined as 'seasonal, casual, temporary or agency work, those on zero-hours contracts and low-paid self-employed workers' – and they tend to be in education, restaurant work and social care. The North West is the second worst hit area in the country for the growth of insecure jobs, beaten only by the North East
The TUC estimates that there are now 339,608 people who work in insecure jobs in the region – up from 246,091 in 2011. That represents 1 in 10 workers in the North West.
The TUC says these contract types leave working people in the position where their wages can fluctuate without warning; they find it hard to get their basic employment rights respected; they miss out on key protections like sick pay; and they are at the mercy of bosses who can withdraw their hours or even take them off the job with no notice. The TUC also estimates that the rise in insecure work since 2006 is costing the UK exchequer £4billion a year, with the Government collecting billions less in tax revenues.
"Insecure working in the North West has shot up in recent years" says Lynn Collins, TUC Regional Secretary for the North West "People need jobs they can live on. But if you don't how much work you will have from one day to the next, making ends meet can be a nightmare.
"Too many bosses in our region are getting away with shady employment practices" she adds "That's why we are asking people who feel vulnerable at work to share their stories confidentially with us. We need to keep the pressure up on government to improve protections for working people. Every day unions expose bad working conditions and win important victories for workers across the country."
The TUC is now documenting people's experiences of insecure work for research and campaign purposes. Anyone can confidentially share their experiences at: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TellTheTUC - or click here