Zero-hours contracts: the latest figures and analysis

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An update of our zero-hours contracts analysis using data from the last quarter of 2013. Looking at the prevalence of ZHCs, the labour market experience of ZHC workers and paydifferentials between ZHC and non-ZHC workers.
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  • 1. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Zero-hours contracts The latest figures and analysis Laura Gardiner April 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..
  • 2. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Exploring zero-hours contracts • Zero-hours contracts (ZHCs)—contracts which do not offer guaranteed hours of work—have been the subject of much recent debate and government consultation • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) quarterly Labour Force Survey captures information on ZHCs in the final quarter of each year. This analysis explores the 2013 data, in comparison to previous years, in order to understand: 1. The prevalence of ZHCs within and across different groups, in comparison to non-ZHC workers 2. The labour market experiences of ZHC workers in comparison to non- ZHC workers: levels of unionisation, underemployment and job search 3. Pay differentials between ZHC and non-ZHC workers across different groups 2 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..
  • 3. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Limitations of this analysis • When comparing ZHC and non-ZHC workers, we recognise that we are not comparing like with like. Just 2% of workers are on zero-hours contracts, making it statistically impossible to drill down to a level at which we are looking at truly equivalent workers. Instead, we consider differences based on age, industry, occupation and highest qualification level – presenting differences where we find them to be statistically significant to at least a 10% level • This means that we are unable to isolate the impact of ZHCs on pay and labour market experiences. For example, a pay differential between ZHC and non-ZHC workers within a specific qualification level may simply reflect the concentration of ZHC workers, irrespective of qualification, in lower-paying sectors. The sample size is not large enough to consider both conditions at once. The reader should treat the findings as indicative of the pay differentials experienced by ZHC workers for a combination of reasons, rather than as evidence of a pay ‘penalty’ associated with ZHCs • The Labour Force Survey is thought to under-estimate ZHCs because it relies on self- declaration and not all workers realise the terms on which they are employed. The ONS will today publish an alternate estimate of the number of workers on zero-hours contracts based on a survey of businesses rather than worker self-declaration. Nonetheless, the Labour Force Survey remains the best source from which to understand the characteristics of ZHC workers 3 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..
  • 4. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1 Characteristics of ZHC workers …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. This section looks at the prevalence of ZHCs within and across different groups, and changes in the composition of ZHC workers in recent years. Specifically, we explore ZHC prevalence by: • Age • Industry • Occupation • Highest qualification level
  • 5. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… The number of zero-hours workers has more than doubled since 2012 …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. The Q4 2013 estimate from the ONS indicates that 583,000 people are employed on a ZHC in the UK, or just under 2 per cent of the workforce Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey 5
  • 6. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Zero-hours contracts are most prevalent among younger and older workers, and are not just held by students …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Across all age groups, just 18% of zero-hours workers are students Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey 6
  • 7. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… But looking at the distribution of ZHCs across age bands, such workers are concentrated in younger groups …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey. ‘Rest of those in employment’ includes self-employed people 7 Half (50%) of ZHC workers are aged under 30
  • 8. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… There has been little change in the age profile of ZHC workers in recent years…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey 8 Despite the overall increase in the number of zero-hours workers, there has been little change in their age profile over time
  • 9. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Zero-hours contracts are most prevalent in the hospitality sector …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8% of hospitality workers are on a ZHC The hospitality sector includes those working in hotels, bars and restaurants Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey 9
  • 10. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… But the highest number of ZHC workers are in the health and social work sector…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey. ‘Rest of those in employment’ includes self-employed people 10 Health and social work is a much bigger sector overall, which means that it has the largest share of ZHC workers
  • 11. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… As with the age profile, there has been little change in the industries that those on ZHCs work in…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey 11 Despite the overall increase in the number of zero-hours workers, there has been little change in their distribution across industries in recent years
  • 12. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Zero-hours contracts are most prevalent at lower- and middle-skilled occupation levels …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Worker in ‘caring , leisure and other personal service occupations’ (including child minders, domiciliary care workers, travel agents and hairdressers) and ‘elementary occupations’ (including unskilled and routine sales, manual and administrative jobs) are most likely to be on ZHCsSource: ONS, Labour Force Survey 12
  • 13. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… More than half of ZHC workers are employed in caring, leisure and personal services, or elementary occupations…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey. ‘Rest of those in employment’ includes self-employed people 13 ZHC workers are concentrated at the lower end of the occupational hierarchy, with more than half in either ‘caring, leisure and other personal service occupations’ or ‘elementary occupations’
  • 14. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… There has been little change in the occupations that those on ZHCs work in…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey 14 Despite the overall increase in the number of zero-hours workers, there has been little change in their distribution across occupational groups in recent years, with the exception that the share in elementary occupations has increased slightly
  • 15. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ZHC are prevalent among workers across qualification levels …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. The chances of being on a ZHC are relatively even across different qualification levels, but highest for those qualified to GCSE or A level Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey 15
  • 16. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… More than half of ZHC workers have GCSEs or A levels as their highest qualification…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey. ‘Rest of those in employment’ includes self-employed people 16 Workers on ZHCs are disproportionately found at the mid- qualified levels But one in five have a degree or equivalent qualification
  • 17. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… There has been little change in the composition of ZHC workers by qualification…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey 17 There is some evidence that ZHC workers have become slightly less qualified over time (the proportion with degrees has gone down, and the proportion with ‘other qualifications’ has gone up), but the difference is relatively marginal
  • 18. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2 Labour market experiences of ZHC workers …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. This section looks at some features of the labour market experience of ZHC workers: levels of unionisation, underemployment and job search
  • 19. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ZHC workers are less likely to be in a union and more likely to be looking for a different or additional job…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey. Differences between ZHC and non-ZHC workers are significant at the 1% level 19 In this analysis the number of underemployed people is the total of workers who are looking for an additional job, workers who are looking for a different job because they want longer hours, and workers who are not looking for a new job but would like more hours in their current job. There is therefore some overlap between workers who are underemployed and workers who are looking for a different or additional job
  • 20. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Different levels of unionisation, underemployment and job search among ZHC workers remain within sub-groups …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 20 • In terms of levels of unionisation, underemployment and job search, differences between ZHC and non-ZHC workers remain within age bands, qualification levels, and the main ZHC industries and occupations • This suggests that the different composition of the ZHC workforce detailed in the previous section – younger, more likely to have GCSEs and A levels, and concentrated in low- and mid-skilled occupations – does not explain all of the overall difference in unionisation, underemployment and job search between ZHC and non-ZHC workers • The annex to this presentation demonstrates this in detail. It shows differences in union membership, underemployment, and rates of searching for a different or additional job between ZHC and non-ZHC workers within age bands, industries, occupational groups and qualification levels
  • 21. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3 Pay differentials …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. This section looks at the difference in hourly pay rates between ZHC workers and non-ZHC workers (excluding the self-employed, for whom pay data is not collected in the Labour Force Survey). Specifically, we explore pay differentials by: • Age • Industry • Occupation • Highest qualification level As previously stated, the size of the sample means that we are unable to compare pay levels for truly equivalent ZHC and non-ZHC workers. For example, a pay differential between ZHC and non-ZHC workers within a specific qualification level may simply reflect the concentration of ZHC workers, irrespective of qualification, in lower-paying sectors. The sample size is not large enough to consider both conditions at once. The reader should treat the findings in this section as indicative of the pay differentials experienced by ZHC workers for a combination of reasons, rather than a definitive measure of the pay ‘penalty’ associated with ZHCs. A ZHC pay penalty may persist even if we were able to control for all variables at once, but we have no way of knowing for sure
  • 22. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… There is a larger pay differential for ZHC workers aged 25 and over than there is for younger ZHC workers…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey. Pay differentials are significant at the 5% level 22 The difference between the pay of non-ZHC workers and that of ZHC workers is twice as high for those aged 25 and over as it is for the under 25s Both are smaller than the overall (‘all ages’) pay differential, highlighting the importance of the age composition of the ZHC group. That is, the sizeable overall pay differential between ZHC and non-ZHC workers appears to owe more to the concentration of ZHCs among younger workers (who are typically lower paid than average) than to differences in pay within age groups
  • 23. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… There is a significant pay differential in most of the main ZHC sectors…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey. Pay differentials are significant at the 10% level for all industries displayed 23 The pay differential between non-ZHC workers and ZHC workers within industries does not indicate that ZHC workers are paid less for equivalent work, as they are likely to be working at different levels within these industries However, it confirms that ZHC are concentrated at the lower-paying end of the labour market, both within and across industries
  • 24. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… There is a small but significant pay differential for workers in elementary occupations…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey. The pay differential in ‘elementary occupations’ is significant at the 5% level. The pay differential in ‘caring, leisure and other service occupations’ is not significant. Other occupational groups are not displayed due the low number of ZHC workers in the sample 24 The ZHC pay differential is much less stark when comparing ZHC and non-ZHC workers in the same broad occupational group For the 24% of zero-hours workers who work in ‘caring, leisure and other personal service occupations’, there is a pay difference of £1 per hour, but it is not statistically significant For the 32% of zero-hours workers who work in ‘elementary occupations’, there is a significant pay difference of £1 per hour between ZHC and non- ZHC workers
  • 25. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… There is a significant ZHC pay differential for those qualified to GCSE level or above…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey. The pay differential is significant at the 10% level for all qualification levels displayed apart from ‘no qualification’. Higher educational qualifications have been excluded 25 The gap remains significant for those with GCSEs or A levels as their highest qualification if you exclude those currently in education (and therefore possibly working on a ZHC out of convenience to fit around study) The pay differential between non-ZHC workers and ZHC workers with the same qualifications does not indicate that ZHC workers are paid less for equivalent work: the two groups are not necessarily in comparable jobs as many qualified people work below their skill level
  • 26. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Conclusions • At the end of 2013 there were an estimated 583,000 workers employed on a ZHC in the UK, just under 2% of the workforce • Workers on ZHCs are younger than non-ZHC workers. They are more likely to have GCSEs and A levels as their highest qualification (though 1 in 5 have degrees); they work in lower-level occupations; and they are concentrated in the health and social work, hospitality, retail and administration sectors • Although the overall number of ZHC workers has gone up, their composition by age, industry, occupation or qualification level has not changed much in recent years • ZHC workers are less likely to be in a union and more likely to be underemployed or looking for a different or additional job than non-ZHC workers. These differences persist when looking within age groups, industries, occupations and highest qualification levels • Previous research has highlighted that zero-hours workers earn less, on an hourly basis, than others in employment. We find evidence that significant pay differentials exist not just at the overall level, but across a number of groups. However, the magnitude of the differential is reduced considerably if we control for age, and if we look within the industries and occupations where ZHC are most prevalent, suggesting that factors other than the contract type are playing a very important role. Nevertheless, the pay differential between non-ZHC workers and ZHC workers remains significant within age groups, industries, at higher qualification levels and in the lowest occupational grouping 26 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..
  • 27. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Notes on charts • Charts showing ‘ZHC workers as a proportion of all workers’ display the percentage of all of those in employment – within each age band, industry, occupation or highest qualification group – who are on a zero-hours contract. This is equivalent to the likelihood of being on a zero-hours contract in each age band, industry or highest qualification group • Charts showing the ‘prevalence of ZHC and non-ZHC workers’ display the proportion of all zero-hours contract workers that are in each age band, industry, occupation or highest qualification group. This is compared to the proportion of all those in employment who are not on zero-hours contracts in each of these groups. This is equivalent to the distribution of ZHCs (and non-ZHC employment) across age bands, industries or highest qualification groups 27 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..
  • 28. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Annex …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. This annex provides further detail on some features of the labour market experience of ZHC workers: levels of unionisation, underemployment and job search. These features are explored within different groups: • Age • Industry • Occupation • Highest qualification level
  • 29. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Different rates of union membership between ZHC and non-ZHC workers are upheld within age groups…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Source: ONS, Labour Force Survey. Differences between ZHC and non-ZHC workers are significant at the 10% level. Ratios compare the proportion of non- ZHC workers with union membership to the proportion of ZHC workers with union membership within each age band 29 The relative difference between the rates of union membership of ZHC and non-ZHC workers is similar within each age group to the ‘all ages’ difference This suggests that the different age
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