Image: Cytonn Photography / Unsplash
Image: Cytonn Photography / Unsplash

60% of working Warwick students on zero-hour contracts

A survey to find out the number of Warwick students who have part-time jobs during term time, the nature of their jobs, and their level of job satisfaction was recently conducted by The Boar, which discovered a majority of working students to be on zero-hour contracts.

Of the 240 respondents, 46% of students had term-time jobs. 42% of the respondents were first-year students, 33% of which were employed. 55% of second-year students and 50% of finalists also had jobs.

In terms of the number of hours students were contracted to work, 60% of the employed respondents were on zero-hour contracts. 15% were contracted to work 9-12 hours, 11% were contracted to work 1-4 hours, and 9% were contracted to work 5-8 hours.

As for the income, 28% of students earned £7-8 per hour. 22% earn £8-9, 20% earn £9-10, and a further 20% earn over £10 per hour.

The results show that the most common job among Warwick students is that of being a student ambassador, with 32% of respondents employed as ambassadors. 9% of students work as retail assistants, 8% as bartenders, and 7% as waiters. Other jobs include working as stewards in the University’s art gallery, or as Deliveroo riders.

Most respondents are employed by the University. 43% reported they work on campus, while 14% stated they work at the SU. 15% work in Leamington Spa, and 10% in Coventry.

When it comes to the main reason for getting a job, 40% of the working respondents cite gaining extra money to spend as their cause, whereas 38% work to finance living costs. 17% got a job to gain work experience.

The ONS revealed that workers on zero-hour contracts work 25 hours a week on average

90% of students said they were happy with their current job, while 7% said they were not (the rest preferred to not say). One of the respondents who were discontent with their job said: “Leamington locals are ridiculously rude.”

Other reasons for job dissatisfaction were poor hours, mistreatment from managers and other staff members, difficulties in trying to balance work with their degree, and sexist treatment from customers.

According to a recent survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there are 1.8 million zero-hour contracts in the UK, which make up 6% of all working contracts in the country.

The ONS revealed that workers on zero-hour contracts work 25 hours a week on average. These workers are commonly 16-24 years old. Most course providers recommend university students not to work over 15 hours a week.

The ONS survey for employees found that one quarter of people on zero-hour contracts wanted more hours.

Ed Farrar, a second-year history and sociology student who works for the SU student ambassador team, described his zero-hour contract positively. It allows him “to earn money with flexibility. For students I think that’s an essential part of keeping afloat, whilst still studying for your degree”.

For the last three years, the Labour party has campaigned to outlaw zero-hour contracts, labelling their surge in popularity as an “epidemic”.


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