By Pravin Jeyaraj
At least 20% of the zero hour workers in the United Kingdom work for the Welsh public sector, according to research carried out by Zero Hours Justice.
The research reveals that Wales makes up 8.4% of zero hours workers in UK universities, 7.1% in local authorities and 4.1% in NHS Trusts.
Yet, according to research carried out by the trade union Unison, 70% of people in Wales do not think that firms receiving public money should be allowed to use staff on zero hours contracts.
Furthermore, according the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, the proportion of people on zero hours contracts in Wales is just 2.7%. The UK average is just 3%.
We agree that one should question the morality of using taxpayers' money to pay for cheap, insecure labour. But it would surely be hypocritical of public sector employers to only sign contracts with firms that do not use zero hours contracts, without looking at their own recruitment practices.
Earlier this month, Scottish Labour pledged to stop private sector employers who use zero hour workers from benefitting from contracts with the public sector, without asking whether the public sector is just as much a part of the problem.
The study from Zero Hours Justice is based on the Freedom of Information requests made to 799 universities, local authorities and NHS Trusts during the last 12 months. It did not look at other types of public sector organisations, such as schools or police forces.
For press enquiries or permission to reuse content, please contact:
Images can be downloaded from here. Image of Julian Richer should be credited to Gerardo Jaconelli.