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"Working on a contract at zero hours made me feel exhausted and negatively affected my sanity."

This statement comes from a former theme park employee, but represents a typical view of the estimated five million Britons having no job security.

At present, a new hours of living program will provide greater security to some contract workers at zero hours.

Organizations will have to pay the living wage and give workers at least four weeks' notice.

As part of the program – created by The Living Wage Foundation – the workers will also have a contract specifying the hours worked and guaranteeing a minimum of 16 hours per week.

Leading employers, such as Richer Sounds, SSE and Standard Life Aberdeen, who have received life-time certification, have already committed to participate in the program.

Julian Richer, founder and CEO of Richer Sounds, said: "If you treat the people who work for you well, you will have a happier, more motivated staff, and people who will stay with you for years. .

"Offering hours of life is a great way to keep workers safe, but it will also help businesses in the long run."

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A zero-hour contract employee at a theme park said he had to spend a full day at work, but could be paid for only a few hours.

The story of a contract worker at zero hours

A former theme park employee, who asked to remain anonymous, explained why signing a contract at noon had an impact on their mental health.

"Our working group for the week was sent out on Sunday evening and, with changes of positions changing regularly, I could not plan my week and always felt that I needed to be available to work.

"I also worked as a" breaker ", that is to say, to spend all the day at work but to be paid for the few hours spent every day to cover the working hours of the other colleagues when they took a break.

"If the weather was bad or suddenly returned, the theme park would be closed and everyone would be sent home.

"Sometimes it meant giving up a whole day but getting paid for an hour of work, or not at all, which did not even cover my bus fare." "I've changed jobs to a new fixed-term job, which means I'm able to save money and plan my week so I can spend time with my family."

"The living wage has put nearly £ 1bn more in the pockets of more than 200,000 workers, but it is becoming increasingly clear that wages are not the only factor in working poverty," said Katherine Chapman. , director of the Living Wage Foundation.

"A lack of safe and stable work hours leaves millions of families struggling to keep their heads out of the water.This is not good for workers or businesses."

She warned that the constant uncertainty over the number of hours, the schedule of shifts or the amount of pay that people earn each week places them under tremendous pressure.

"A last-minute canceled shift may seem small, but it can mean the difference between being able to pay for your family's dinner that night or being hungry." Being expected to work in the short term means you can not plan other costs and commitments. "

More than five million workers earn less than the real living wage and perform precarious work, of which two million are parents, the charity said.

More than a fifth of workers between the ages of 16 and 24 have low paid and insecure jobs, and in most types of unsafe work measured, youth are the most affected.

Wales, the North East and the West Midlands have the highest rates of low paid and unsafe work, with Scotland, South East and London being the lowest.

"Everyone should be entitled to guaranteed hours of work, but many workers are forced to not know how much work they will have each week," said Frances O. Grady, TUC Secretary General.

She noted that it can make planning and meeting a daily nightmare.

"It's time to end these limbo and give people fair notice of their hours and compensation if their shifts are canceled."