Press Release

New survey finds zero hour contracts and low pay the norm for young workers

Date Released: 14 April 2015

A survey of the working lives of the under 35s, conducted by the Young Workers Network (YWN), has revealed that nearly 90% struggle to make ends meet with zero hour contracts and low pay the norm for many.

Other findings of the ‘Working Hours and Pay Survey’ included that 21% of respondents felt their job could end at any time, 20% were working on zero hour contracts and 20% said their employer gives them less than one day’s notice of their working hours.

YWN Activist Dan O’ Neill, said: “The results of this survey, when taken in conjunction with other investigations into the terms and conditions of employment of young workers, indicates a worrying shift towards precarious work becoming the norm for many.”

He added: “The toll that these precarious working conditions are having on many young people was evident in their responses to the survey. These included young workers saying they ‘could not afford to be sick or organise family life’ to complaints about anxiety caused by not knowing when they might be called into work.”

The survey will be part of a submission by the YWN to a study on zero hour contracts being conducted by the University of Limerick.

Amongst its recommendations, the YWN is calling on Minister of State for Jobs and Employment, Ged Nash, to increase the notice period for rosters to at least a week and to protect employees from penalisation, in the form of having their hours cut, when they stand up for their rights including organising in a trade union.

The full results of the online survey, with over 100 respondents, will be released at a rally in support of the ‘Fight for $15’, the international campaign for decent pay for fast food workers, being held in the Connolly Hall, Liberty Hall, Dublin tomorrow (Wednesday, 15th April) at 5:30 p.m.


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