The sharp rise in workers hired on zero-hours contracts that guarantee no minimum hours of work or pay is a concerning trend, demonstrating the continued financial pressure on employers to hammer down workforce operating costs.
Even with some silver lining in economic growth, a long period of low business confidence and shrinking margins has seen firms increasingly resort to temporary work contracts of some description, including zero-hour deals, or just demand more work from fewer people.
But a business need for operationally agile workforces that can respond quickly to the ebb and flow of market demand without becoming a financial drag shouldn’t mean by default a demoralising and insecure employment environment for workers.
The time is ripe for a new and innovative employment model: one that addresses business needs and is socially acceptable and sustainable. Portfolio working could be that model.
It fits the bill on so many levels and I expect to see these arrangements grow in popularity over the coming year.