The number of workers over the age of 50 who are on zero hours contracts has increased by more than half in the past five years, a new study suggests.

The total has jumped from 190,000 in 2014 to 288,000, according to an analysis by Rest Less, which offers advice to older people.

Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, said: "Zero hours contracts can be helpful to workers who are looking for lots of flexibility in how and when they choose to work - but they come at a cost.

"With no guaranteed earnings, if used inappropriately they can create significant pressure for employees to take any hours offered, whatever the conditions."

The increase has been most dramatic among the over-65s, rising from 42,784 to 73,662, said the report.

Mr Lewis also says that the rising number of over-50s with zero hours contracts could be a general cause for concern, but is particularly worrying as the UK braces itself for the spread of coronavirus.

He also fears that if people - who are employed on zero hours contracts cannot work due to self-isolation, they may also not get paid.