Living Hours campaign launched to tackle work insecurity

14 June 2019

New research finds one in six workers are in insecure, low paid work, with millions facing cancelled shifts, a lack of stable hours, or short-term contracts.


The Living Wage Foundation has launched Living Hours, a major new programme to tackle widespread insecurity over hours and provide workers with real control over their lives. The scheme will require organisations to pay the real Living Wage and commit to provide workers with:


  • at least four weeks’ notice of shifts,

  • a contract that accurately reflects hours worked, and

  • a contract with a guaranteed minimum of 16 hours a week.


Organisations that agree to these measures will be accredited as Living Hours employers alongside their Living Wage accreditation.


The announcement comes as new research commissioned by the Living Wage Foundation has revealed that one in six, or around 5 million workers, are in low paid, insecure forms of work, including short-term contracts, and contracts with unpredictable pay and hours. The research found:


  • 2 million workers in low paid, insecure work are parents
  • Over a fifth (22%) of workers aged 16-24 are in low paid, insecure work, and in most types of insecure work measured, young people are worst affected
  • However, insecurity is not just a problem for young people – 1 in 2 employed people (46%) experiencing insecurity and low pay at work are over the age of 35
  • Over a fifth (21%) of the working population in Wales experiences low paid, insecure work, and 18% in the North East, compared to 15% in London and 13% in Scotland
  • Those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds are disproportionately affected: 15% of white people in work are experiencing low pay and insecurity in comparison to 17% of workers from mixed/multiple ethnic groups, 17% of Asian/Asian British workers and 17% of Black/African/Caribbean/Black British workers

The Living Wage Foundation has developed a new standard of what good looks like for those employers that can offer ‘Living Hours’ alongside a real Living Wage. Find out more and register your interest here.



CIPP comment

Matthew Taylor’s Review of Modern Working Practices (July 2017) recommended that government should act to create a right to request a contract that guarantees hours for those on zero hour contracts who have been in post for 12 months which better reflects the hours worked. Government responded to the recommendation in its Good Work Plan (December 2018) and said it will go further and introduce a right to request a more predictable and stable contract for all workers. We don’t have an implementation date for this yet but as a result of the Taylor Review, from April 2020 regulations come into force which confer the right to a ‘written statement of particulars of employment’ and associated enforcement provisions, upon all workers (currently this right applies only to employees).