Casual staff five times more likely to be jobless

22 Feb 2018 By PM Editorial

People employed in casual or part-time work more vulnerable to losing employment than full-time workers

Casual work is often touted as a handy stepping stone into longer-term employment, but a new study has warned that it comes at a cost, with people employed in casual or part-time work more vulnerable to losing employment than full-time workers, and more likely to suffer low levels of job and life satisfaction. 

Researchers from Sheffield University and the University of Greenwich surveyed almost 20,000 UK workers for the TUC report Living on the Edge, and found that those in casual employment were five times more likely to drop out of the labour market than their counterparts in full-time employment. More than one in 10 survey respondents (12 per cent) reported having no regular pattern of work, and returned lower levels of job and life satisfaction than those in full-time employment.  

“Instead of improving their career prospects, lots of casual workers find themselves dropping out of work altogether, or they’re at the mercy of bad bosses who treat them like disposable labour,” TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady says. “Every job should be a great job, but far too many workers in the UK feel insecure at work.” 

The research also suggested that race could have an impact on employment prospects, as workers in casual employment were more likely to be young and have an ethnic minority background, with more than one in 10 respondents (16 per cent) with a BAME background engaged in part-time work, double the percentage of BAME respondents in full-time work. 

Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of casual workers thought it likely or very likely that they would lose their job in the next 12 months – although 35 per cent of full-time employees also expected to be out of a job.


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