Legal challenge to zero hours contracts launched against Sports Direct
Move follows news that all part-time staff at retail giant are on the contracts
Wednesday 07 August 2013
A legal challenge is being brought against retail giant Sports Direct over the use of zero hours contracts among its staff.
Law firm Leigh Day, with the support of campaigns group 38 Degrees, is bringing an employment tribunal case to test the legality of the treatment of the firm's part-time employees.
The move follows news that all part-time staff at Sports Direct are on zero hours contracts.
38 Degrees member, Zahera Gabriel-Abraham, 30, from London, has brought the legal claim funded by other 38 Degrees members through donations.
Elizabeth George, a barrister in the employment team of Leigh Day, who is acting for Ms Gabriel-Abraham, said: "We are not arguing that employers cannot have genuine flexible contracts, but the contract under which Ms Gabriel-Abraham worked, and which all SportsDirect.com 20,000 part-time employees appear to be working, has no flexibility at all for those people who sign them.
"There was no practical difference between the obligations put on my client by the company and those placed on full-time staff.
"Casual workers traditionally supplement an employer's salaried staff, to be called upon when cover is needed or demand is high. In return for not having the security of knowing when you might work you have the benefit of being able to choose when you work. Without that choice you are not a casual worker you are just a worker with no job security.
"The 'casual' part-time employees in this case are employees in the conventional sense and denying them their paid holidays, sick pay and bonuses is unlawful."
David Babbs, executive director of 38 Degrees said: "We've had a huge response from our members on this issue, many of whom are on so called zero hours contracts themselves. These contracts clearly work in certain circumstances, but in others, are being abused by employers to restrict people's rights.
"That's why we've asked our members to help fund this legal action - so we can send a clear message to SportsDirect.com that thousands of people are standing with Zahera in her legal claim."
A study this week suggested that a million workers were on zero hours contracts, under which people are not guaranteed work from one week to the next.
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
- 3 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 4 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
- 5 Paracetamol Challenge: Mother of girl killed by overdose pleads with teenagers not to take part
Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'
'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
Fifa corruption arrests: How Chuck Blazer rinsed money from the beautiful game
Fifa corruption live: Uefa to consider pulling teams from Fifa tournaments if Blatter stays
Ukip MP Douglas Carswell says he felt his safety was 'seriously at risk' after he was surrounded by anti-austerity protesters
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Joinery Shop Foreman is required to join a p...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Bench Joiner is required to join a privately...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Recruitment and Sales People wanted f...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A multi-skilled engineer with a...