The issue of zero-hours contracts has been the subject of widespread political debate and generated a mass of media headlines over the last few months. This report sets out the debate and explores the issues using research based data from the Labour Market Outlook, produced in partnership with SuccessFactors, an SAP company and the Employee Outlook, produced in partnership with Halogen.

"The context for zero-hours working is a long-term trend towards more flexible and diverse forms of work capable of meeting the needs of employers and individuals."

The debate has centred around two main issues:

  • What are the rights and wrongs of zero-hours working? Are they a way of employers reducing their labour costs and retaining maximum flexibility in a time of economic uncertainty at the expense of job and financial security on the part of the individual?
  • Or do they provide flexibility that works for both the employer and the individual, enabling organisations to respond to peaks and troughs in demand and people to manage caring responsibilities, study, improve their work–life balance or to downshift from fulltime work as they move more flexibly into retirement?
  • How many people are really engaged on zero-hours contracts in the UK and to what extent are their numbers increasing?

The report includes recommendations for employers, government and policy makers and also sets out the CIPD case for good practice. Download the report below.

More reports

CIPD Good Work Index: Northern Ireland

A Northern Ireland summary of the CIPD Good Work Index 2024 survey report

CIPD Good Work Index: Wales

A Wales summary of the CIPD Good Work Index 2024 survey report

Working Lives Scotland

Dedicated analysis of job quality and its impact on working lives in Scotland

CIPD Good Work Index: North of England

A North of England summary of the CIPD Good Work Index 2024 survey report

See all reports

More on this topic

Thought leadership
UK employment law round-up: July 2024

Monthly round-up of changes in employment law in the UK

Employment law
Religion and belief discrimination: UK employment law

Explore our collection of resources around legal issues relating to religion and belief discrimination in the workplace, including philosophical beliefs

For Members