Recent TUC analysis indicates Black and minority ethnic (BME) women are significantly overrepresented on zero-hours contracts compared to other groups, facing low pay and limited rights at work. Their likelihood of being on such contracts is nearly three times higher than that of white men.
Over the past year, the number of people on zero-hours contracts increased, notably among BME women, which the TUC attributes to structural racism in the job market.
Zero-hours contracts grant employers full control over workers' hours and earnings, making it challenging for workers to plan their lives or challenge unacceptable behaviour by bosses. This situation disproportionately affects BME women, who often have caring responsibilities. Many of these women work in health and social care, facing low pay and insecurity.
The TUC is advocating for a ban on zero-hours contracts to improve workers’ rights together with measures like fair pay agreements, ethnicity pay gap reporting, and giving workers rights from day one on the job, to address the challenges faced by workers on zero-hours contracts and enhance overall workers’ rights and protections.