UK job centre
Six in ten (60%) people aged between 40 and 44 said that they would not accept one of the employment agreements(Reuters)

The majority of UK workers would refuse to sign up to a controversial zero-hours contract if a prospective employer offered them one, according to totaljobs.com.

The job site, which commissioned eDigitalResearch to question 6,235 respondents throughout July, found that more than half (52%) of respondents said they would refuse to take work on a zero-hours contract.

The research also revealed that the controversial employment agreements, which enable employers to not guarantee work for employees, are more popular among young workers in the UK.

The survey found that less than four in ten (37%) of respondents aged between 21 and 24 said they would not accept a zero-hours contract.

But six in ten (60%) people aged between 40 and 44 said that they would not accept one of the employment agreements.

The Office for National Statistics estimated that there were more than 1.4 million zero-hours contracts in use in the UK in early 2013.

"Even though we've had great drops in unemployment, there is still a lack of opportunity particularly to the youth [in the UK labour market]," Dom Harvey, a director at totaljobs.com, told IBTimes UK.

"So they've got no option almost to get involved in zero-hours contracts. To a certain extent, there may be a little bit of 'wise heads' when it comes to the older generations by steering away from them."

The figures come after the business secretary Vince Cable said the government would outlaw exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts, which lock workers to one employer.

But the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that on average 65% of zero-hours workers said that they are satisfied with their work–life balance compared with 58% of all employees.

The research, which follows the news that the total UK unemployment rate fell to 6.4% in the three months to June, also revealed that more than a third (38%) of respondents said they were confident that they will get a job within the next two months

The report explained that this is a 5% hike in candidate confidence levels since 2013.

But only one in five (21%) of respondents said they would apply for any job going, compared to one in three (35%) people last year.