Experiences of homeless young people in precarious employment

There has been growing concern about the rise in non-standard or atypical employment practices in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Recent estimates suggest that roughly 4 million workers are in forms of employment characterised by low levels of pay, unpredictable or irregular working hours, short-term contracts, a lack of job security and access to basic entitlements, and limited scope for career development and formal training.
This includes:

  • zero-hours contracts or on-call work;

  • involuntary or ‘bogus’ self-employment (eg delivery drivers in the ‘gig’ economy); and

  • informal or undeclared work.

Centrepoint is concerned about how these employment practices may be affecting homeless young people, and the financial and other risks it may expose them to. They would like to find out more about the reasons why young people undertake these forms of work, and the effect it has on their personal finances, benefit entitlements and housing situation.
Centrepoint has commissioned IES to conduct research with young people and their support workers in several hostel settings across the country to explore these issues in further detail. The research findings will help Centrepoint put forward policy recommendations for how the government can safeguard homeless young people currently engaging in precarious forms of employment.