Precarious pay and uncertain hours

Several shockwaves have been sent through the UK Labour Market over recent years. Covid-19 saw all non-essential economic activity grind to a halt, leaving millions of workers furloughed and a smaller (though not insignificant) number fall out of the labour market due to long-term sickness or caring responsibilities, many of whom are yet to return.

More recently the cost-of-living-crisis has also left its mark, the clearest manifestation being the real-term pay cut most UK workers are currently facing, despite nominal wage growth being at historically high levels – hitting 7.2 per cent in April 2023.

Key findings
 6.1m workers – 3.4m in low insecure work
 55% of workers earning below the Living Wage ae in insecure work, compared to 11% of those
earning at or above the Living Wage.
 Largest disparity (proportion of insecure work) North East vs Scotland (7%)
 Vulnerable groups – minority ethnic workers, young workers, and older workers
 More focus on job quality to improve the nature of work and the experience of the UK’s low paid and
insecure workforce.
 Low Pay Commission remit to expand – cover labour standards, amount of notice workers gets for
shifts, strong wage floor.

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