Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Age of 'zero hours' jobs: Sports Direct staff never know how long they'll work - or what they'll earn

  • A total of 20,000 staff don't get guaranteed hours or sick and holiday pay
  • If they turn down work, they fear they will not be asked again
  • The retailer recently announced large bonuses for full-time staff

More than 20,000 staff at Britain’s biggest sports retailer are employed on controversial ‘zero-hour’ contracts, it emerged yesterday.
Sports Direct hires every part-timer under a deal that denies them holiday or sick pay and cannot guarantee how many hours they will work each week.

Some 90 per cent of workers at 396 stores are now on zero-hour contracts with the company, which is controlled by billionaire founder Mike Ashley.

It comes just weeks after the group announced plans to pay its 2,000 full-time staff bonuses of up to £100,000.
Uncertainty: Some 90 per cent of workers at 396 stores are now on zero-hour contracts with the company
Uncertainty: Some 90 per cent of workers at 396 stores are now on zero-hour contracts with the company
Zero-hour contracts, so-called because they do not set a minimum number of hours that have to be worked, allow employers to draft in extra staff at short notice during busy periods.
Those on the contracts often find themselves unsure if they will have work from one week to the next.

Although they are able to turn down work, many fear that doing so means they will not be asked again in the future.

Employment lawyers warn that the deal makes it difficult to manage family and childcare commitments, and presents problems when budgeting for household bills or trying to secure a mortgage.

The retailer is controlled by billionaire founder Mike Ashley
The retailer is controlled by billionaire founder Mike Ashley
Yesterday Business Secretary Vince Cable announced an investigation into zero-hour contracts  following ‘anecdotal evidence of abuse’ by employers – including those in the public sector. ‘Whilst it’s important our workforce remains flexible, it is equally  important that it is treated fairly,’ he said.

Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has called for the arrangements to be banned altogether.

Sports Direct last night refused to say whether it allows part-time staff to seek other work to boost their income. Meanwhile, a profit-linked bonus programme for permanent staff will next month pay out company shares worth an average of £76,500.

Union Unite has written to Mike Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United football club, calling for an urgent meeting to discuss the treatment of its part-time staff.

The union’s Annmarie Kilcline said: ‘We are seriously concerned that a culture of low pay and poor treatment has embedded itself in at Sport Direct.’

Official figures show that more than 200,000 workers in the UK were employed on zero-hours contracts last year – treble the amount since 2005.

They are increasingly attractive to employers looking to manage flexible demand. But many of  Britain’s biggest retailers including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and John Lewis say they do not use the contracts.

More than a quarter of UK firms say it saves them money because they do not have to provide extra arrangements for staff such as pensions.

But a report by think tank the Resolution Foundation found that the benefits of zero-hour contracts for employers come at ‘too high a price’ for those hired on them.

And on its website, the Citizens Advice Bureau says: ‘The problem with zero [hour] contracts is  that you are only paid for the time you work, so even if you have to wait on work premises or be at home waiting by the phone, you may not be paid for this waiting time.’

Labour MP Alison McGovern said it was ‘bizarre and inappropriate’ for Sports Direct to treat permanent and part-time staff so differently and called for the firm to offer more fixed-term contracts.

NWN: This is the future if they are allowed to get away with it. The government are dismantling the welfare state under pressure from the capitalist NWO leaders/bankers.

The future for white working people in the UK is to be reversed back to Dickensian times.

The bedroom tax will make more people homeless, as they cannot afford the extra taxes imposed. And unable to move to smaller bedroomed properties.

But will these heartless bastards even have the goodness to open 'workhouses' ? 
I don't think they will finance a system like the old 'workhouse system'. They are too selfish, too tight and far too callous.


Anonymous said...

Strange how the Reds haven't organises a boycott of Sports Direct - are they afraid that by calling for such a boycott they will alienate the niggers who patronise this establishment and also the chavvy scum they need to give a veneer of 'working classdom' in their public demonstrations?!

We ought to be organising such a boycott on behalf of British workers! It is afterall our kind that are affected by zero-hours at the expense of the greedy capitalist bastards!

Anonymous said...

The Duwayne Brooks File

Looks like the state have been protecting Duwayne Brooks to ensure his 'evidence' in the Lawrence Trial was not undermined by his having a serious criminal conviction.

The Duwayne Brooks file:

October 1993 Surrendered voluntarily to Bexleyheath police station, where he was charged under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act, relating to an allegation of violent disorder at a British National party march. Eventually the proceedings were stayed on December 13 1994 after the judge ruled an abuse of process. The judge had invited the CPS to discontinue the case earlier, but it refused to do so.

May 27 1998 Police requested an interview about an allegation of kidnapping at Catford station. He was bailed until July 23 when police announced that they were taking no further action.

July 8 1998 Stopped under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in the City of London. Searched and arrested for possession of a knife and theft of a credit card. Bailed from the police station and when he returned on August 4 was charged with possession of an offensive weapon. The action was discontinued in September.

July 4 1999 Stopped by police in in his car, which was searched. A photocopying tool was found (he works as a photocopying engineer). Police alleged it was an offensive weapon and charged him with possession of a bladed article. They also found credit cards and chequebooks in the car and he was arrested for handling stolen goods. He was bailed to appear before Tower Bridge magistrates. The case was discontinued on August 3.

August 17 1999 Arrested in Peckham, south London, for taking and driving away a car and threatening behaviour. Taken to Peckham police station and bailed until August 6, when police notified him that they were taking no further action.

September 16 1999 Arrested and charged with attempted rape and indecent assault. Originally refused bail by police and court. Finally bailed on September 29 on condition he resided in Birmingham. At his committal hearing on November 5 police announced they had dropped the charge of attempted rape. An Old Bailey judge threw out the case as an abuse of process.

Anonymous said...

Who Are The UAF Unite Against Fascism? Exposed.


Anonymous said...


The moniker Purple Aki is a nickname the defendant finds offensive and racist.”


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Purple Strikes Again.

Chauncey said...


Heroes of London Bridge including banker who lost his life confronting jihadis with a skateboard and nurse who died running towards dange...