THERE were 8000 fewer people working on zero-hours contracts in Scotland in 2018 compared to the previous year, latest figures show.

The number fell from 71,000 to 63,000 and the SNP says the fact the total also dropped by 7000 between 2016 and 2017 shows steady progress being made in tackling the “exploitative” contracts. The percentage of workers on zero-hours is lower than the rate in England and Wales for a second year.

SNP MSP Sandra White said: “Toxic zero-hours contracts are exploitative, can leave people without the income they need to live on and with no means to budget for them and their families. It’s extremely encouraging to see further progress is being made, with 8000 fewer folk in Scotland employed on zero-hours contracts than there were last year. That comes on top of the previous year which saw a 7000 drop on 2016’s figures – so there’s clearly steady progress being made.

“This is credit to the SNP prioritising fair work and leading by example in government and the public sector and encouraging business to follow suit. We’re performing better than the Tories in England and Labour in Wales in tackling the prevalence of zero-hours contracts and these latest figures are extremely welcome.

“We’ll continue to raise our ambition in government and strive for even greater rights for workers at Westminster where, sadly, most powers over employment remain.”