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The Sad Truth About Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct

8 years ago

They say ignorance is bliss and when it comes to the ‘success’ story of Sports Direct I had ‘ignorance’ tattooed on my forehead.

As has been reported a number of times on this website, Sports Direct have a fantastic bonus scheme for their staff, or rather – some of them.

I was stunned to read an article in the Guardian which explained exactly how the Sports Direct model works.

While around 2,000 full-time staff will indeed be cashing in bonuses of up to £100,000, the 20,000+ part-time workforce are employed on zero-hour contracts.

These contracts mean that over 90% of Sports Direct’s workforce do not know how many hours they are working from one week to the next, have no guarantee of regular work, plus no sick pay or holiday pay.

The Guardian also report that the bonus scheme rules for the full-time staff give bosses the power to exclude a member of staff who is considered an ‘unsatisfactory performer’, though they (Sports Direct) do not define this term, with allegedly around 20 current staff known to have been excluded from the bonuses already.

Amongst the companies who have confirmed they don’t use these zero hour contracts are Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Homebase, Argos and B & Q.

Politicians have been campaigning to ban the contracts and have called on Mike Ashley, the billionaire owner of Sports Direct, to consider introducing part-time contracts with guaranteed hours.

As for the bonus schemes, staff have claimed that it has created a climate of fear in case they are suddenly found to be ‘unsatisfactory’.

MP for Corby, Andy Sawford said;

“The zero hour contracts are highly exploitative and suit the company because it keeps people in a fragile state where they are at the beck and call of their employers.”

Sports Direct ‘declined to comment’ when approached by the Guardian.

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