12th February 2015

Zero-hours = Zero bonus?

Recent reports have suggested that a large number of workers have potential claims against sports retailer Sports Direct in respect of their exclusion from the company’s bonus scheme.

The bonus scheme paid out approximately £160 million worth of shares to eligible permanent staff in 2013.  However, the vast majority of the company’s staff are employed under zero-hours contracts and were not paid any bonuses.  Many of these workers have written to the company via their legal representatives highlighting their claims.

This report once again brings zero-hours contracts into the news following Vince Cable’s announcement late last year that the use of zero hours contracts was to be reviewed.

Notwithstanding their critics, zero-hours contracts remain widely used in the UK.  It is important to remember than those employed under such contracts will likely qualify as part-time workers.  The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regs 2000 render it unlawful for an employer to treat part-time workers less favourably than comparable full-time workers regarding the terms of their contract.  This could potentially include the exclusion of part-time workers from a bonus scheme.

Jack Boyle
Senior Solicitor – Employment Law

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