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UK workers 'should be guaranteed 16 hours of work a week'

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter
Richer Sounds has signed up to the scheme. Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

Workers should be guaranteed at least 16 hours’ work every week to end “widespread insecurity” in the UK, according to a campaign group.

A new report by the Living Wage Foundation argues every employee should also be entitled to at least four weeks’ notice of their shift patterns.

Research by the foundation suggests around one in six workers in Britain is in low-paid and insecure employment, working on unpredictable hours and pay or short-term contracts.

Several firms including Richer Sounds, Standard Life Aberdeen and SSE have signed up to its Living Hours pledge, promising to give workers guaranteed minimum hours and notice of shifts.

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Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, called the measures “ambitious but achievable,” playing down the risk it could cause a headache for employers.

“A lack of secure, stable hours is leaving millions of families struggling to keep their heads above water. This isn’t good for workers or businesses,” she said.

“A shift cancelled at the last minute might sound small, but it can be the difference between being able to pay for your family’s dinner that night or going hungry. And being expected to work at short notice means you can’t plan around other costs and commitments.”

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