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Jobseekers should not be forced into “Russian roulette of zero-hours contracts”

Citizens Advice

Forcing people to accept zero hours contracts or face benefit sanctions could leave jobseekers with no income and little chance of securing stable employment in the long term, Citizens Advice has warned.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy, said:

"Zero hours can mean zero prospects and zero income. Forcing people to accept a role which offers little or no guarantee of an income could leave jobseekers facing the daunting choice between a tough financial sanction and the Russian roulette of a zero-hour contract. The 60 per cent rise in people coming to Citizens Advice for help with JSA sanctions shows that this system is causing anxiety whilst doing little to help people get work.

"Getting people into stable employment is the surest way of reducing the cost of out-of-work support. Financial support needs to be paired with help to develop skills and increase the likelihood of finding work in the long-term. A role with few hours of work and no guaranteed income could mean hard-pressed families find their gains from work outweighed by childcare and transport costs.

"As part of the Government’s review of zero-hour contracts, ministers have a responsibility to tighten the rules so workers have decent rights and a guarantee of a minimum income."

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