Launched by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Decent Jobs Week is a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the number of working people in Britain who are trapped in low-paid, insecure jobs.

According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics earlier this year, there are more than 1.4 million people on zero-hours contracts. Zero-hours contracts offer employees little security as workers’ hours can vary significantly from week to week. A recent report by the TUC found that employees on zero-hours contracts earn around £300 less a week compared with permanent employees.

As part of the Decent Jobs Week Campaign, the TUC is calling for:

  • Improved rights for workers on zero-hours;
  • The same employment rights for casual workers;
  • Equal pay for agency workers;
  • Better enforcement of workplace rights for low-paid, vulnerable workers;
  • Better access for all workers to union representation and collective bargaining.

Workers’ rights are the focus of another campaign supported by Thompsons Solicitors’ chief executive, Stephen Cavalier, called the Workplace Pledge. It seeks to encourage all employers to ensure that their employees are provided with fair, clear, understood and well enforced rights.

Head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, Tom Jones said: “While the government is making much of the headline that unemployment rates have fallen, millions of people are trapped in low-paid, insecure jobs.

“Working people in Britain deserve a fair deal. They deserve job security and decent employment rights, yet the government clearly isn’t interested in the quality of the jobs on offer or the type of jobs that people have to endure.

“It is time the government listens to campaigns like Decent Jobs Week and the Workplace Pledge and takes action to improve the state of the jobs market for working people across the whole of Britain.”