Worker on zero-hour contract doing one hour a fortnight delighted to be ’employed’

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As the latest government figures showed unemployment up 31,000 to 1.33 million, zero-hour workers have sought clarification that they’re definitely not unemployed.

Despite not doing any work, or being paid any wages, zero-hour contract workers have been told once again that they are a valuable part of the UK’s workforce that won’t be counted as unemployed, as long as they do just one hour of paid work a fortnight.

Zero hour contract worker Simon Williams welcomed the reassurances, telling us, “I have a job, and that’s why I’m not in the unemployment figures.

“I mean, it’s a job that didn’t pay me anything last week, because I’m not guaranteed any actual work. But that’s better than nothing, right?

“Well, I suppose that technically speaking, nothing is NOT better than nothing, but you get the point.”

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Government statisticians have insisted there is a big difference between people not working and not getting paid, and people with a piece of paper to say they have no work this week and are not getting paid.

As one senior Whitehall official explained, “People claiming jobseekers allowance would love the opportunity to work for one hour every two weeks on a zero-hour contract – as it removes the stigma of unemployment.

“Getting back into the workforce routine of not doing anything and not picking up any wages is an important part of reintegrating the previously unemployed.

“I look forward to the day when we have another two million workers not doing any work and not getting paid – our unemployment figures will look amazing.”