Part-time workers are ‘caught in poverty trap’

CAMPAIGNERS have warned that the number of people in part-time work is pushing many to the brink of poverty.

Citizens Advice Scotland wants the Scottish Government to create separate categories for underemployed people, and graduates looking for work, in their regular joblessness figures.

Earlier this week, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation highlighted the rise in part-time workers, totalling 120,000 in Scotland, compared to s figure of 70,000 in 2008.

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CAS also wants Jobcentre Plus to do more to help people find suitable work, particularly when they are looking for additional hours.

Norma Philpott, chief executive officer of Citizens Advice and Rights Fife, said: “We are increasingly seeing people who are struggling to make ends meet because they can’t find work with enough hours.

“The rise in the number of people coming to us for help accessing food banks and the proportion of people turning to payday loans shows that many people who can only find part time work are being pushed into poverty.”

Lauren Wood, social policy officer for Citizens Advice Scotland, added: “Whilst underemployment is hard to measure, it is clear that the government support for people who are underemployed is often lacking.

“The DWP’s Universal Job Match site lists part-time jobs with as few as eight hours a week as full time.

“If that is the way the government expects people to find more work, they must ensure it is a gateway to appropriate jobs that pay enough to live on.”