Temporary Employment

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 11th June 2014.

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Photo of Ian Austin Ian Austin Labour, Dudley North

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has to improve job security for people employed indefinitely on temporary or fixed-term contracts.

Photo of Jennifer Willott Jennifer Willott The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Government are committed to achieving a labour market that is both fair and flexible, which gives employers the confidence to create jobs and individuals the choice to find work that suits them and their circumstances.

Temporary, agency and fixed term contracts are an important but relatively small part of our labour market, as they give companies flexibility in how staff are hired and workers flexibility in how they work. In February to April 2014 there were 1.673 million temporary employees—6.5% of all employees. Of these, ONS estimate that 35.9% were working temporarily because they could not find a permanent job—down from 39.7% a year ago.

Under this Government employment growth continues to be exceptionally strong, with levels up by 345,000 in the past quarter, and 780,000 in the past year—a record. Overall, in the 12 months to April 2014:

Employment increased by 780,000.

The number of employees working full-time increased by 441,000 and the number of people working part-time increased by 17,000.

The amount of people in self-employment rose by 337,000

The amount of temporary employees was 1.67 million in the three months to April 2014, up 79,000 on the same period last year. The amount of employees working temporary jobs because they could not find permanent jobs fell by 33,000 over the past year.

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