Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell has used a half-year profits statement to declare that the retailer does not use zero hours contracts for its warehouse staff – because all such staff have contracted hours with agencies.
“To be clear, no warehouse workers are on 'zero hour' contracts, all have contracted hours with the agencies,” Hellawell said. “In retail, casual workers find the flexibility offered by these arrangements very useful. We comply fully with all applicable legal requirements and will continue to keep these under review.”
Warehouse staff account for 5000 of Sports Direct's workforce. The retailer still uses zero-hours contracts for many store staff - which accounts for the majority of their 24,000 employees.
Zero-hours contracts mean that an employer is not obliged to offer an employee any certain number of hours - and the employee is not obliged to accept them. They have been heavily criticsed for not giving workers enough financial stability.
Hellawell also commented on issues with the security procedure for staff entering and exiting warehouses. He said that following a review the process has been streamlined and waiting time reduced.
An investigation by the Guardian found that the unpaid extra time taken for thorough, compulsory searches meant that workers were paid less than the minimum wage.
Sports Direct reported profits before tax up 3.6 per cent to £166.4 million, up from £160.6 million in the same period last year. Revenue was flat at £1.4 million.
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