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Zero hour contracts 'just the norm'

More than one million UK workers are on zero-hours contracts with no guarantees of shifts or work patterns - four times official estimates, research suggests.

A survey of 1,000 employers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development indicated 3-4% of the entire workforce were on such contracts.

It said some 14% of affected staff could not earn enough to fund a basic standard of living.

A review of the contracts by Business Secretary Vince Cable is already under way, amid union calls to ban them.

Rochelle Monte, a domiciliary care worker who is on a zero-hour contract, told the Today programme's Evan Davis that working a zero-hour contract had "just become the norm" for her.

"I don't get sick pay" she said.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of CIPD, for an employer a zero-hour contract was "about flexibility".

He went on to argue that it might be better employers were to use a minimum-hour contract, rather than zero-hour.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday August 2013.

  • 05 Aug 2013
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