A shocking new poll has revealed up to a third of the British workforce are in precarious employment.
GMB, the union for gig economy workers, has revealed shocking statistics at that shows up to ten million people are currently in insecure work.
The research, unveiled at the union’s 100th annual congress in Plymouth today, shows up to one in three of the workforce are now in precarious employment – defined as those in the gig economy, on zero or short hours contracts, temporary workers, the underemployed and those at risk of bogus self-employment.
Precarious work impacts on the individual worker, their family and on the Treasury.
A GMB poll asked 1,000 precarious workers about their finances and priorities and found:
– 61 per cent had suffered stress or anxiety as a result of their current job
– 61 per cent said they have been to work while unwell for fear of not being paid, losing their job or missing out on future hours
– 35 per cent would struggle to cope with an unexpected bill for £500, such as a car needing repairs or washing machine needing to be replaced
– 69 per cent say their cost of living is rising faster than their earnings
– 78 per cent previously had permanent employment, highlighting the changing nature of the workplace
Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said: “This paints a shocking picture of the modern world of work.
“Up to 10 million people go to work either not knowing what their hours are, if they’ll be able to pay the bills, or what their long term prospects are.
“That’s a sorry state of affairs in the 21st century and a product of government’s failure to tackle bogus self-employment, the use of agency contracts a business model and point blank refusal to ban zero hours contracts.
“We hear a lot about employment figures, well this research shows the today’s job market is based on a shaky foundation of insecure work where people are doing their best but still not able to get on. Insecure work impacts on people’s health, their families and whether they are able to plan for the future.
“If our economy slows down even further – these precarious workers will be the first to suffer.
“There is a political choice to be made. Our workforce, communities and indeed the Treasury is paying the price of insecure work, it’s not fair and it’s not sustainable.”