CIN 45: Zero-hours contracts and labour market casualization in London
Through the recent economic downturn employment levels held up remarkably well when considering the experience of previous recessions. In addition, since the downturn, employment levels have increased significantly such that jobs located in London and the proportion of Londoners in employment are both at, or around, record levels.
Official estimates suggest there are around 70,000 people currently employed on zero-hours contracts in London. Despite the possibility of an underestimate in the statistics, zero-hours contracts account for a very small proportion of all employment in London.
The flexibility of zero-hours contracts may well be attractive to some workers (as well as employers). Any potentially damaging consequences from zero-hours contracts are most likely to arise in situations where the individual feels they have no alternative means of employment (such that there is an imbalance of power between the employer and the employed).