Nearly two in five full or part-time workers are given less than a week’s notice of their shifts, research reveals today.
Some 37% of British employees receive their rotas with just days to spare, according to the Living Wage Foundation, which blasted the insecurity suffered by staff.
An online Survation study of 2,128 workers found that of those whose job involved variable hours or shift work, 62% had less than a week’s notice of their schedules.
Of that group, 12% – amounting to 7% all working adults – had less than 24 hours’ notice.
Campaigners said people in insecure work and subject to last-minute shift changes were unable to plan properly.
Living Wage Foundation director Laura Gardiner said: “Without clear notice of shift patterns provided in good time, millions of workers have had to make impossible choices on childcare, transport and other important aspects of family life.
“Low-paid workers have been particularly hard hit during the pandemic, with millions struggling to plan their lives due to the double whammy of changing restrictions on economic activity and insufficient notice of work schedules from employers.”
The Foundation published the figures to highlight its Living Hours programme, which requires bosses to pay a Real Living Wage and also commit to providing at least four weeks’ notice for every shift – with guaranteed payment if shifts are cancelled within the notice period.
Living Hours employers also provide a guaranteed minimum of 16 hours a week, unless workers request otherwise.
Power giant SSE was today unveiled as the latest firm to accredit with the Foundation’s Living Hours programme.
Its human resources director John Stewart said: “The Real Living Wage movement has been an incredible phenomenon, championing the fundamental truth that people should be able earn enough to live a decent life; Living Hours is the other side of that coin.
“The amount of pay employees take home can be affected by irregular and unpredictable hours.”
The scheme comes after the success of the Foundation’s campaign for bosses to pay a Real Living Wage.
Minimum hourly rates paid by accredited firms are £9.50 outside London and £10.85 in the capital, and it is paid regardless of employees’ ages.
In contrast, the Government’s “national living wage” – the rebranded minimum wage – is £8.91 and only paid to workers aged 23 and over.
Hourly minimum pay for under-18s is £4.62; the rate for workers aged 18 to 20 is £6.56; and the minimum for those aged 21 and 22 is £8.36.