Contract (2)

Following today's news about Sports Direct ending zero hour contracts, Sarah Peacock, an employment specialist at law firm Blake Morgan says that this is unlikely to be the end of this kind of contract.

Ms Peackock said: "The news, ahead of its AGM tomorrow, that Sports Direct are to offer guaranteed hours to casual retail staff shows that public pressure does eventually have an effect – but it is doubtful that it will make other employers do the same.

"The pressure on Sports Direct has been enormous because of its so-called 'Victorian' working practices and failure to pay the national minimum wage, not just the number of zero hours staff it engages.

"Despite all the bad publicity, zero hours contracts can be a good thing and a win-win for both worker and employer in the right circumstances.

"Responsible employers with good reason to use them are unlikely to give up zero hours contracts.

"The sheer scale and unnecessary use of zero hours contracts at Sports Direct certainly left it vulnerable to criticism, but it has been forced to make changes ultimately because its day-to-day working practices came under the scrutiny of a BIS select committee earlier this summer. "Unscrupulous employers with similar practices may be forced to follow suit, but don't expect this to be the end of the zero hours contract in general."