During times of economic downturn, employers have been wary about recruiting permanent full-time staff, with many opting for temporary and zero-hour contracts.

As a result, over half a million people are employed on zero-hour contracts, according to the Office for National Statistics. This has soared threefold since 2010 when there were just 183,000.

However, the tables have turned and more UK employers are turning their back on the unstable zero-hour offers. According to a report, the majority intend to hire staff on permanent contracts in this quarter.

The JobsOutlook report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) suggests that over two thirds (69%) of employers intend to offer more permanent jobs in the second quarter of 2014.

REC director of policy Tom Hadley said that the JobsOutlook survey “shows a significant jump in the number of employers who are planning to create more permanent jobs in both the short and medium term.”

Hadley said that the report’s findings suggest that workers are set to benefit from the increased confidence employers seem to have in both their companies and the overall economy.

This will be welcome news to the thousands of zero-hour workers who are being negatively impacted by the exclusivity clauses in their contracts.

The clauses have been highlighted by a government consultation, which has just come to an end. It finds that these clauses prevent employees from working for another company, even when they are not offered any hours by the primary employer.

Business secretary Vince Cable said: “We don’t think that people should be tied exclusively to one employer if it unfairly stops them from boosting their income when they are not getting enough work to earn a living.”

Andy Hogarth, chief executive officer of recruitment and outsourcing company Staffline Group said: “I absolutely agree that employers shouldn’t be allowed exclusivity. Unless the worker is being offered 37.5 hours a week they should be allowed to go elsewhere.”

If you are planning to offer more permanent contracts this quarter, Discovery Graduates can help with all stages of the graduate recruitment process including attraction, recruitment and retention.