Thursday 25 April 2024

Precarious profits?

Why firms use insecure contracts, and what would change their minds

Over one-in-ten workers across Britain is employed on some form of precarious contract. The problems with such working arrangements for some workers are well known: they have limited control over their working patterns and insecure incomes too. But why firms use, or even come to rely on them, is rarely discussed and poorly understand. We need a far better understanding of both the causes of precarious employment and the consequences if work practices were to change.

What kinds of firms and sectors are most likely to employ staff on precarious contracts? Does that vary across different types of employment, from fixed term to zero hour contracts? Do firms choose this approach to better serve their customers, give workers the flexibility they want, or does it boil down to the bottom line? What would it take for firms to change their approach – and what would the consequences be?

The Resolution Foundation is hosting an in-person and interactive webinar to debate these questions, and share new evidence from a specially commissioned survey of firms. Following a presentation of this research, which marks the start of a major new project on precarious work, supported by Unbound Philanthropy, we will hear from leading experts from the world of business on firms’ use of insecure contracts.

The event will be open for people to physically attend, alongside being broadcast via YouTube and the Resolution Foundation website. Viewers will be able to submit questions to the panel before and during the event via Slido.