1 in 6 Workers in Low-paid and Insecure Jobs, Researchers Say

  • John Baird -
  • 12th June 2019 -
  • 3 minutes to read

Roughly in one in six people in employment around the UK are in low-paid and insecure work, according to a new piece of research carried out by the Living Wage Foundation.

That figure means that close to five million Brits are in work while potentially still struggling to make ends meet and keep up with their essential bills or their debt repayments.

Of those five million, two million are believed to be parents, which means a sizable proportion of children are being brought up in financially squeezed households.

Young people aged between 16 and 24 are particularly likely to be in low-paid and insecure work, with one in five men and women in that age bracket earning below what campaigners are calling a ‘real’ living wage.

The figures suggest that Scotland has a relatively low proportion of 13 per cent of people in low-paid and insecure work, as compared to the UK as a whole, where the average is closer to one in six.

However, that still equates to there being close to 350,000 people in Scotland who find themselves working consistently but still finding it tough to get by financially.

According to the Living Wage Foundation, a very large number of people throughout the UK struggle to secure long-term contracts with their employers, or to be given a stable number of hours on a monthly basis.

A lot of people also find themselves having their shifts cancelled at short notice on a regular basis in a way that leaves them out of pocket and uncertain of how much money they’ll earn in any given period.

“If you treat the people who work for you well, you’re going to have happier, more motivated staff, and ones that stay with you for years,” said Julian Richer, founder of the home entertainment retailer Richer Sounds, who backs the Living Wage Foundation’s campaign for higher wages.

“That makes a huge difference, and that’s what I’ve found paying the Living Wage. We just need more businesses to realise this,” he said.

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