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People vs Sports Direct

Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: 15-04-2007

People vs Sports Direct

Hi All
Just got this from 38 Degrees:
Quote
Subject:  We're going to court

Dear
It's the people vs Sports Direct. Companies abusing zero hours contracts have been all over the
news this week. The stories started after it was revealed that Sports Direct employ 90% of their
staff on contracts with no guaranteed hours week to week, no holiday pay or sick pay. [1]
Today 38 Degrees member Zahera, an ex-employee of Sports Direct, is taking them to court to
challenge their use of the controversial contracts. If she wins, it will send out shockwaves to
all companies abusing these contracts. And it will put pressure on the government to tighten up
the law and protect vulnerable employees.
Can you chip in just £1 to help fund the case against Sports Direct?
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/the-people-vs-sports-direct
Elizabeth George, a lawyer at law firm Leigh Day, has offered to represent Zahera and will only
receive a fee if we win the case. But there will still be costs involved. If Sports Direct decide
to fight, it could cost over £10,000 to go to court, much more than Zahera could afford on her
own.
But if enough of us chip in just £1 each to raise the money, it will send a powerful message to
Sports Direct and their billionaire owner, who will have deep pockets to fund their legal team.
They'll see that they are heading to court to face not just one ex-employee standing up for her
colleagues' rights, but an army of 38 Degrees members too.
Can you chip in £1 and back Zahera against Sports Direct?
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/the-people-vs-sports-direct
38 Degrees members have already sent over 120,000 emails to Sports Direct demanding they treat
their staff properly and give them the option of fairer contracts. [2] They have so far refused to
comment, hoping the story will go away. But by taking them to court we'll force them to.
Zero hours contracts are already being investigated by the government. But our action could set a
legal precedent for all businesses, not just Sports Direct, and will put the government under
pressure to act fast. [3]
We know that people powered legal cases can win. Last week, we celebrated after beating Health
Minister Jeremy Hunt in court. [4] 38 Degrees members donated £15,000 to the Save Lewisham
Hospital Campaign's case against his plans to close their local hospital. It was a huge win in the
fight to save our NHS and made headlines across the country.
Now let's use our collective power to take on Sports Direct and strike a victory not just for
Zahera, but for people on zero hours contracts across the country.
Can you chip in £1 to help fund the case against Sports Direct?
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/the-people-vs-sports-direct
Thanks for standing with Zahera
Robin, Belinda, Megan, Blanche & the 38 Degrees Team


FURTHER INFORMATION
Why could it cost so much?
To issue the claim, Zahera is required to pay an issue fee of £250.
There is a further fee if the claim goes all the way to a full hearing of £900.
Law firm Leigh Day are representing Zahera on a no-win no fee basis, so there is no cost here.
However Elizabeth will be bringing a co-counsel to fight the case with her. We anticipate the cost
to be in the region of £10,000 plus VAT for the hearing.
If for some reason the case doesn't go ahead we would offer a refund.
What happens if we raise more than is needed to fight the case?
Any donations made above the amount needed to fight the case will go towards 38 Degrees'
campaigning work, including pushing the government to tighten up the law around zero hours
contracts. For more details of our donations policy click here:
http://www.38degrees.org.uk/pages/donations-to-38-degrees
Are all zero hours contracts bad?
Many people would like to see zero hours contracts banned outright, but for some employees, zero
hours contracts are a useful flexible way of working. However, the news has been filled with
stories of companies abusing these contracts to bully staff. This case could be a landmark moment
in the fight to stop this abuse.
NOTES:
[1] Sports Direct: 90% of staff on zero-hour contracts -
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/jul/28/sports-direct-staff-zero-hour-contracts
[2] Email Sports Direct -
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/speakout/sports-direct-stop-unfair-zero-hour-contracts
[3] They won't be lovin' it: McDonald's admits 90% of employees are on zero-hours contracts
without guaranteed work or a stable income -
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/they-wont-be-lovin-it-mcdonalds-admits-90-of-employee...
[4] Save Lewisham Hospital campaign in the papers -
http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/tag/save-lewisham-hospital/

Can you help?  By chipping in £1
8 REPLIES
CaptainFantasti
Grafter
Posts: 125
Registered: 02-10-2007

Re: People vs Sports Direct

You can read more about this issue, and see an interview that Channel 4 News did with Zahera here
http://www.channel4.com/news/labour-councils-use-staff-with-zero-hours-contracts
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,919
Thanks: 514
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: People vs Sports Direct

I watched that on C4 news last night and it must be said that the bloke defending them is a disgrace.
Zero hour contracts do not help anyone who relies on them for work. Claiming that they allow flexibility is rubbish - it allows flexibility for the employer only. You'll always find people who will do the odd few hours flexibly for you (pensioners for example) so these companies using these contracts know full well that they're tying peoples hands using them.
We've both decided not to touch amazon now for this very same reason. After seeing how they treat their staff we were both disgusted.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Thunderclap
Grafter
Posts: 673
Registered: 08-09-2008

Re: People vs Sports Direct

I can understand the concept behind zero-hour contracts, especially for SME's with unpredictable production or consumption, but why they are applied as a restraint of trade on employees seems a most unfair contract term. No doubt the CBI will be trotting out more waffle-for-cash apologists on Radio 4, Newsnight and Sky News, to put the PR case for treating young people like cattle.

Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 25,755
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Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: People vs Sports Direct

Just as an aside regarding employment.
I was listening to a news item regarding a woman who owns a hair salon.
She employs 4 women and 3 have gone on maternity leave.
She still has expenses associated with the 3 on maternity leave plus she needs to get in temporary staff.
Women can be fickle about their hair and go to a particular salon to be attended by a particular hairdresser.
Because of this the owner is losing business and is struggling to regain customers.
She did say that if it were possible she would employ only male staff.
She is herself a mother of 3 children.
Customer and Forum Moderator.
Product of the Tyrell Corporation
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
Thanks: 190
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: People vs Sports Direct

Yes I employment laws are certainly skewed in favour of the employee these days.  Another employer yesterday stated they would not employ any female of child bearing age - and that was a woman.
St3
All Star
Posts: 2,404
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Registered: 13-07-2012

Re: People vs Sports Direct

speaking of sportsdirect .......... they sell cheapy seconds, non of the sports gear they sell is actully decent i wish jjbsports was still alive!
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itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: People vs Sports Direct

Quote from: artmo
Yes I employment laws are certainly skewed in favour of the employee these days.  Another employer yesterday stated they would not employ any female of child bearing age - and that was a woman.

Zero hour contracts
Agency Workers
Workers that up to 2008 only had 20 days paid holiday and this included the 8 public holiday days. It's now 28 days.
Industrial Tribunals which the employee now have to pay a fee to prove that the employer has broken the law, which range from £410 to £1,200
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
Thanks: 190
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: People vs Sports Direct

Quote from: ukste20
speaking of sportsdirect .......... they sell cheapy seconds, non of the sports gear they sell is actully decent i wish jjbsports was still alive!

I recently bought some Babalot equipment from them.  It was certainly competitively priced and certainly not seconds. Roll eyes