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Scotland ‘worst nation in UK’ for zero-hours contracts, latest figures reveal

ZERO-HOURS contracts have reached record numbers in Scotland, the country with already the greatest prevalence of precarious work in Britain, latest figures revealed today.

Labour market analysis from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed a drop in employment and economic activity in Scotland. 

It also found that zero-hours contract use in Scotland has gone over 100,000 for the first time — growing from 94,000 in the last quarter of 2022, to 105,000 in the first quarter of this year.

The figures mean that 3.9 per cent of the Scottish workforce — almost one in every 25 workers — have no certainty over their hours or pay from week to week, compared to 3.5 per cent in England and 2.8 per cent in Wales.

Scottish TUC’s Better than Zero campaign co-ordinator Tam Wilson said: “Zero-hour contracts are a product of an exploitative employment model that aims to strip workers of their power and treat them as dispensable. 

“They are not just used to cut wage costs, but also to exploit and control.

 “It is important for zero-hour contract workers to collectivise so they can challenge poor workplace conditions collectively rather than be picked off individually.

“It’s risible that Scotland now has the highest use of zero hour contracts across the UK.”

STUC general secretary Roz Foyer branded the statistics as an “incredibly damning indictment of the UK government” before renewing the body’s calls for the devolution of employment law.

She said: “Now more than ever, Scotland needs the devolution of employment law to outlaw, once and for all, the use of zero-hours contracts, giving workers security, certainty and workplace rights from day one of their employment.”

The Scottish government was contacted for comment.

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