Workers struggling to manage finances due to zero hours contracts

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9.5 million British workers do not receive a steady income week-to-week and a fifth of these are on zero hours, flexible and temporary contracts.

Research conducted on behalf of debt advice and solutions provider Debt Advisory Centre (DAC) has found that people are struggling to meet their financial commitments due to zero hours contracts.

Three in ten (29 percent) British workers say they have a job where they don’t always work the same hours, meaning that their income fluctuates from week to week.

A zero hours contract is one where employees have no minimum contracted hours, meaning the employer is not required to give the employee any shifts to work in the week. This can make managing personal finances very difficult with two-thirds of those on fluctuating incomes saying they have trouble meeting all of their financial commitments.

Ian Williams, spokesman for DAC, says:

“More and more workers have no certainty about how much work they will get each week or month, and therefore how much they will earn.  This makes budgeting for regular bills and living costs, as well as debt repayments, extremely challenging.”

Other research conducted in January for DAC found that one in six (16 percent) of Brits consider themselves to have a debt problem, that’s the equivalent to 8 million people across the UK. This research suggests that a potential 2.3 million people with variable incomes may be struggling with a debt problem.

One in 15 (7 percent) people who have unsecured borrowing spend an estimated half of their income on debt repayments each month, which include credit cards, store cards, personal loans and payday loans. For one in eight (12 percent) people housing costs, such as mortgages or rent, account for half or more of their monthly income, which can be a cause for concern for people who do not have a fixed monthly income.

Ian Williams adds:

“Those trying to cope with problem debts whilst managing a flexible income should be aware that they don’t have to put up with it alone – they can seek help. Speaking to an independent source of debt advice could help them to get back on their feet and work through their financial difficulties.”

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