The major retailer Sports Direct is facing a claim for millions of pounds from nearly 300 workers who were excluded from the retailer’s bonus scheme because they were on zero-hour contracts
The bonus scheme, which paid out around £160 worth of shares to 2,000 permanent workers in 2013, excluded the employees who are making the claim..
Lawyers acting on behalf of the part-time staff sent letters to the firm’s legal team claiming a total of just over £1m in compensation for missed bonuses for a first batch of 30 workers. The individual claims average about £36,000 each but the highest is worth more than £100,000.
The first batch of workers has a minimum of five and a half years in continuous employment with the company, including the period covered by the bonus.
The remaining 268 workers will have letters relating to them be gradually filed over the next six months or so. It is not clear if the average claim for all those workers will be £36,000 but, if it is, the total cost to Sports Direct could amount to nearly £10m.
Last year, the retailer was forced to make clear the limitations of zero hour contracts to staff and to inform them that they were entitled to sick pay and holiday pay after legal action by a former worker.
The latest legal action highlights how zero-hours workers for the company, many of whom have worked for Sports Direct for long periods of time, have been excluded from the staff bonus scheme.
The company has credited the scheme for helping it achieve strong sales growth and halving the rate at which workers leave the company.