University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

An anatomy of zero-hour contracts in the United Kingdom

Koumenta, Maria and Williams, Mark (2019) An anatomy of zero-hour contracts in the United Kingdom Industrial Relations Journal, 50 (1). pp. 20-40.

[img] Text
An anatomy of zero-hour contracts in the United Kingdom - IRJ AAM.docx - Accepted version Manuscript

Download (97kB)


We present the first attempt to locate zero-hour contract (ZHC) jobs—jobs that lack a guaranteed minimum number of hours—within theoretical frameworks of the employment relationship and occupational class and empirically explore their characteristics using successive UK Labour Force Surveys. In line with these theories, we find this contentious form of employment to be strongly differentiated by the nature of occupational tasks and to overlap with nonstandard employment features (e.g., part-time, temporary). They are also highly concentrated in a small number of occupations and sectors, with over half of ZHC jobs found in just 10 occupations. We further show that ZHCs are associated with indicators of inferior job quality such as low pay and underemployment. Although we find no evidence that ZHCs are a particularly pervasive feature of the UK labour market, further growth cannot be ruled out in certain occupations.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Koumenta, Maria
Date : 20 February 2019
DOI : 10.1111/irj.12233
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2018 Brian Towers (BRITOW) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Koumenta, M., and Williams, M. ( 2019) An anatomy of zero‐hour contracts in the UK. Industrial Relations Journal, 50: 20– 40, which has been published in final form at . This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 08 Oct 2018 14:20
Last Modified : 21 Nov 2020 02:08

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800