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FCSA outlines significance of contingent working across the generations as labour market figures released

FCSA has issued its first monthly Contingent Labour Workforce Update on the day that the ONS Labour Market Statistics (for February-April 2015) shows that UK plc’s use of non-permanent labour remains significant.

The monthly update, produced exclusively for FCSA Members and Associates, presents a perspective on the entirety of ‘non-permanent’ working and shows that over one fifth of the UK’s workforce are individuals working on a contingent basis with the youngest and oldest UK workers turning to temporary employment and self-employment; in 2014, 15% of all 16-24 year olds in work were temporarily employed and 19% of workers aged 50-64 and 40% (419,000) of workers aged 65+ were self-employed.

Only 35% of the UK’s 1.68m temporary employees are working in this way because they could not find a permanent job. 22% do so through choice, 7% are temporary because they have a contract with a period of training whilst 36% state that they are temporary ‘for some other reason.’

Across all in employment in Q1 2015, 11.5% of the working population – some 3.544m people – wanted to work more hours. This was up from 8.3% in Q1 2008.

Commenting on today’s employment figures and the FCSA Update, Julia Kermode, CEO of FCSA said: “It is encouraging to see that the UK’s workforce is sitting comfortably above 31 million and unemployment is low at 5.5% but of rising significance, both in terms of numbers and the strategic nature of the work performed, is the UK’s contingent workforce.

“It is notable just how important contingent working is to both the youngest and oldest UK workers and how stark the growing need for people to find more hours of work has become.  Contingent working will increasingly become the means through which to satiate this demand.

“As the dynamics of work is changing it is more important than ever that the Government acknowledges these trends, keeps pace with change and works harder at supporting this flexible contingent group of workers rather than penalising them with unhelpful and prohibitive legislation.  This sizeable and strategically important group of workers contribute hugely to the UK economy and should be recognised and valued.”