By Bill Heaney 

New analysis from Labour has found that the use of zero-hours contracts in Scotland has surged by 50 percent since 2013. [1]

The number of people working on a zero-hours contract in Scotland has increased by 10 percent in the past year alone. [1] Four in 10 (40.6 percent) on these contracts are under 25 while more than half are women (56 percent). [2]

The analysis comes as Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner addresses the STUC Congress in Dundee pledging that a Labour Government will ban zero-hours contracts as part of a New Deal for Working People.

Labour’s Jackie Baillie and Angela Rayner speak out on curse of zero hours contracts.

Dumbarton constituency MSP Jackie Baillie has backed the move which will benefit people in insecure employment, many of whom are low paid.

Those employees of Labour-controlled West Dunbartonshire Council currently on these cursed contracts will be delighted to hear of Labour’s commitment to get rid of them.

Community Party councillor Jim Bollan, right, has accused the Council of “hypocrisy” for sticking with zero hours contracts after almost a year in office.

However, despite the SNP pledging to take robust action, zero-hours contracts are still classed as a ‘positive employment destination’ for school leavers [3] and the Scottish Government’s guidance for the award of public contracts published last year states only that there should be no “inappropriate use of zero-hours contracts”. [4]

Labour has vowed to bring workers’ rights and protections into the 21st century with its New Deal for Working People, banning zero-hours contracts and ensuring workers have the right to contracts that reflect the hours they work. [5]

Jackie Baillie said: “Zero-hours contracts are a scourge in our society. It is not acceptable for people to be signed up to work with insecure hours and no guarantee of where their next pay cheque is coming from.

“Areas of high deprivation, including West Dunbartonshire, tend to be worst affected when it comes to unfair working practices and this must be stopped.

“I welcome the announcement made by Angela Rayner and look forward to Labour’s New Deal for Working People being implemented in government.”

Year No. of workers on Scotland on a ZHC
Oct-Dec 2013 46,000
Oct-Dec 2022 85,000
Oct-Dec 2022 94,000
% increase between 2013 and 2022 = 51%
% increase between 2021 and 2022 = 9.6%

Sex No of Scottish workers on a ZHC % of Scottish ZHC workers
Male 41,450 44%
Female 52,475 56%

Age No of Scottish workers on a ZHC
16-24 38,168
25-34 25,561
35-49 13,312
50-64 12,37
65+ 4,513
Total 93,925

  1. Scottish school leavers as likely to be in work as FE, TES

  1. Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014: statutory guidance

  1. New Deal for Working People

One comment

  1. Labour have made these promises before. The current Labour Cllr’s actually defended having ZHC on WDC.

    No enhanced payments for o/t etc.
    No time off in lieu for working public holidays.
    No occupational sick pay.
    Your personal and sensitive data can be held offshore.
    Sensitive data can include, your political opinions, religious or similar beliefs, sexual orientation.

    The key wording which confirms it is a ZHC is contained in para 1 of the Contract “There is no obligation on the Council to offer work to you.”

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