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Jobseekers Being Forced Into Zero-Hours Roles

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http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/may/05/jobseekers-zero-hours-contracts

Jobseekers face losing their benefits for three months or more if they refuse to take zero-hours contract roles, a letter from a Conservative minister has revealed.

For the first time, benefit claimants are at risk of sanctions if they do not apply for and accept certain zero-hours jobs under the new universal credit system, despite fears that such contracts are increasingly tying workers into insecure and low paid employment.

Last week, the Office for National Statistics revealed the number of contracts that do not guarantee minimum hours of work or pay but require workers to be on standby had reached 1.4 million.

More than one in 10 employers are using such contracts, which are most likely to be offered to women, young people and people over 65. The figure rises to almost half of all employers in the tourism, catering and food sector.

Currently, people claiming jobseekers' allowance are not required to apply for zero-hours contract vacancies and they do not face penalties for turning them down.

It seems Carney is being given an excuse with the jobless rate heading downwards, everyone is "in work" but it's just that they all have zero hour contracts.

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The current rules say you can refuse a job if it lasts less than 24 hours a week.

The Government has miraculously found that "the average zero-hours contract provided workers with 25 hours of work".

How convenient is that, eh?

Mind you, the whole thing only applies if you're getting UC. How many people is that going to be?

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/collapse-in-pay-lies-behind--britains-return-to-work-9324388.html

More than a quarter of people now classed as self-employed are hidden victims of the recession struggling by on low pay, a new report reveals.

The study by the Resolution Foundation think tank reveals the dark side of the sharp growth in self-employment, which has helped the Government to maintain its boast that unemployment is falling as more and more people find work.

Since the start of the recession five years ago, the number of self-employed has risen by 650,000 to 4.5 million. They now represent 15 per cent of the active workforce.

But the new analysis reveals that the average weekly income of someone in self-employment is 20 per cent lower than in 2008. As a result, a typical self-employed worker now earns 40 per cent than a typical employee. An Ipsos-Mori survey commissioned as part of the report also found that 27 per cent of those who became self-employed in the past five year do so because they had no other choice - up from 10 per cent five years ago.

To follow up with the self employed point.

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Self employed people now declare income making them appear to be 40% down however I'd imagine this is the black market in effect with the false inflation figures and the fact people just can't make ends meet by playing by the rules. Cash jobs are almost the norm now.

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Was wondering whether this level of job insecurity is actually a driver for house price rises - you cant rely on a stable income, so try and make money out of a house instead.

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I think I will start a company offering zero hour contracts to anyone who wants to apply. I will charge them £10/year for photocopying the job contract.#

This will satisfy the job center and the UK will then have 0% unemployment thanks to me + I become rich in the process.

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Was wondering whether this level of job insecurity is actually a driver for house price rises - you cant rely on a stable income, so try and make money out of a house instead.

It's a bit circular given that the hopful BTLer is relying on tenants with sufficient stability of income to meet the rental obligations. The rising precariousness of jobs and seeming tidal wave of new entrant BTLers is surely going to leave many counting their losses.

But as we know already, the fate of new entrant BTLers are not primarily decided by rental income, they need the HPI kicker to make returns worthwhile.

Might be worth a thread to consider BTL lending rules regarding rental cover of repayments. 50% cover (ie mortgage of £1 needs prospective £1.50 rental income) means 2/3 of headline yield to the lender, if I've understood correctly.

Probably bored poeopl with the anecdote of a circa £300k home being rented out rather than sold near me, the resultant extra borrowings to allow the occupiers to buy their next place reduces the gross yield to approximately zero. The only reason you would contemplate this is strong price expectations.

Edited by The Knimbies who say no

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The current rules say you can refuse a job if it lasts less than 24 hours a week. The Government has miraculously found that "the average zero-hours contract provided workers with 25 hours of work". How convenient is that, eh? Mind you, the whole thing only applies if you're getting UC. How many people is that going to be?

I was getting the impression they will bring in the UC rules without UC.

This zero hours contract thing/back to work 'providers' is so open to fraud by the providers it's unreal!

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Was wondering whether this level of job insecurity is actually a driver for house price rises - you cant rely on a stable income, so try and make money out of a house instead.

It is not the new precariat driving these house sales.

Anecdotal time, my wife's colleague is remortgaging to buy 6 flats for BTL with interest only mortgages.

Edited by hans kammler

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Self employed people now declare income making them appear to be 40% down however I'd imagine this is the black market in effect with the false inflation figures and the fact people just can't make ends meet by playing by the rules. Cash jobs are almost the norm now.

I would suggest that 'cash jobs' have always been a large part of the norm.

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Self employed people now declare income making them appear to be 40% down however I'd imagine this is the black market in effect with the false inflation figures and the fact people just can't make ends meet by playing by the rules. Cash jobs are almost the norm now.

or maybe many new self employed dont have clients at all..At the job clubs attend, as I have attested before, the newly self employed are doing it simply to get the benefits they will become entitled too..and being "executives" they are no longer seen as cast offs on the CV.

However, they dont earn much doing it.

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What is the difference between someone on a zero hours contract who is allocated zero hours due to no work being available, and someone who is unemployed? Soon navigating the benefits system will require a degree in philosophy as those involved are obliged to master ever more baroque definitions as to what does and does not constitute work.

But if all this is based on the fantasy that employers will be setting up real time reporting of wages then I don't see how it can ever happen.

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What is the difference between someone on a zero hours contract who is allocated zero hours due to no work being available, and someone who is unemployed? Soon navigating the benefits system will require a degree in philosophy as those involved are obliged to master ever more baroque definitions as to what does and does not constitute work.

But if all this is based on the fantasy that employers will be setting up real time reporting of wages then I don't see how it can ever happen.

availability for work....they could argue that taking the zero hours "job", means you are no longer looking for, and available for work...even if there was none.

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Has anyone unemployed thought of just setting up a firm that pockets all the payments from the jobcentre, DWP etc?

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Edited by aSecureTenant

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What is the difference between someone on a zero hours contract who is allocated zero hours due to no work being available, and someone who is unemployed? Soon navigating the benefits system will require a degree in philosophy as those involved are obliged to master ever more baroque definitions as to what does and does not constitute work.

But if all this is based on the fantasy that employers will be setting up real time reporting of wages then I don't see how it can ever happen.

93% of all active employers are already reporting in real time, according to HMRC. All but micro-businesses (nine or fewer employees) have to do so, as from last month. Micro-businesses will have to do so from April 2016. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/news/news091213.htm

The problem isn't the reporting of wages. It's adjusting benefits monthly to make up claimants' income if their hours vary from month to month.

The computer system that was supposed to take data from the HMRC system and work out benefits doesn't work. God knows whether the replacement system ever will.

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I was getting the impression they will bring in the UC rules without UC.

I think so too. I'm pretty sure IDS has already said that UC is still worth it even without Real Time Earnings data.

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The problem isn't the reporting of wages. It's adjusting benefits monthly to make up claimants' income if their hours vary from month to month.

So If I take a zero hours job and work only the first week my income is topped up by the system to ensure I earn the legal required minimum for that month?

If this works it will provide a massive incentive to some employers to move to a zero hours system because it eliminates the main problem for them which is staff retention. Now they can more or less guarantee their staff that they will have a steady income every month no matter how irregular their work may be.

I'm not sure the full implications of this idea have been thought through- after all if your zero hours job only requires a few days a week you could spend the rest of the time being a scrounger with none of the present negative connotations- after all you would have been forced to take on that job so can hardly be blamed if the state ends up paying you to sit on the sofa watching daytime tv while waiting for the call from work to come in. :lol:

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So If I take a zero hours job and work only the first week my income is topped up by the system to ensure I earn the legal required minimum for that month?

If this works it will provide a massive incentive to some employers to move to a zero hours system because it eliminates the main problem for them which is staff retention. Now they can more or less guarantee their staff that they will have a steady income every month no matter how irregular their work may be.

I'm not sure the full implications of this idea have been thought through- after all if your zero hours job only requires a few days a week you could spend the rest of the time being a scrounger with none of the present negative connotations- after all you would have been forced to take on that job so can hardly be blamed if the state ends up paying you to sit on the sofa watching daytime tv while waiting for the call from work to come in. :lol:

Hmmm...so will they "top up" the amount to the level you would get on JSA, as well as giving you HB and council tax rebate? Could become a cushy number if that's the case...

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I would suggest that 'cash jobs' have always been a large part of the norm.

Quite, I know a few self-employed people that are far better off than me (PAYE) whom are genuinely distressed if they pay any tax at the end of the year.

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I think I will start a company offering zero hour contracts to anyone who wants to apply. I will charge them £10/year for photocopying the job contract.#

This will satisfy the job center and the UK will then have 0% unemployment thanks to me + I become rich in the process.

Sounds good to me - maybe you can get a start-up grant.

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