Support for zero hours contracts

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According to a new survey, 14% of firms in the south west are in favour of zero-hours contracts despite the widespread controversy surrounding them.

Of this figure, over two fifths believe that these contracts would allow them to respond quickly to fluctuating demand for their services, while 43% believe that it would grant their employees greater flexibility in the workplace.

The figures are taken from the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly poll of SME owners and senior management that gauges sentiment on a number of issues that affect their business.

According to the Office of National Statistics, approximately 1.4 million people in the UK are currently employed on contracts with no fixed hours, representing a significant part of the national workforce who are in employment but have no guarantee of a stable income.

The study also found that 10% of businesses in the region currently have staff employed on zero-hours contracts, while 16% are planning to implement them in the near future.