"Working on a zero-hours contract made me feel exhausted and negatively affected my mental health." This statement comes from a former theme park worker, but is a typical view of the estimated five million UK people with no job security. Now some zero-hours contract workers are set to be offered greater security under a new Living Hours programme. It will require organisations to pay the Living Wage and give workers with at least four weeks' notice of shifts. Under the programme - created by charity The Living Wage Foundation - workers will also get a contract that accurately reflects hours worked, and a guaranteed minimum of 16 hours a week.

Commitments to the programme have already been made by major Living Wage employers including Richer Sounds, SSE and Standard Life Aberdeen, who will receive Living Hours accreditation. Julian Richer, Founder and Managing Director of Richer Sounds, said: "If you treat the people who work for you well, you're going to have happier, more motivated staff, and ones that stay with you for years. "Offering Living Hours is a great way to provide workers with security, but it's also going to help businesses in the long-run."