This report from the TUC looks at the impact of insecurity at work on workers, on the UK economy and on public finances. It sets out what policy-makers could do to ensure that insecurity does not increase in the modern world of work.
Over three million people – one in ten of the UK workforce – now face insecurity at work. Not
only do they often face uncertainty about their working hours, they also miss out on rights and
protections that many of us take for granted, including being able to return to the same job after
having a baby, or the right to sick pay when they cannot work. This insecurity is sometimes described.
as an inevitable feature of a modern economy, fuelled by new technology and a desire for more
flexible ways of working. But the so-called ‘flexibility’ we outline in this report has been one-way.
Employers have sought to manage the financial risk that comes from the inability to guarantee a
constant demand for a product or service by employing workers on contracts that offer flexibility
for the employer, at the expense of pay and certainty for the employee. And (as we set out in
Section 1), because these contracts often come with lower pay and fewer rights and protections,
the risk of being unable to work due to sickness or caring responsibilities is also transferred to