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Sports Direct to clarify zero-hours contracts as it settles legal case

Sports Direct will have to spell out the details of its controversial zero-hours contracts after settling a legal battle with a former employee over the policy.

The high street chain reached an agreement with Zahera Gabriel-Abraham after she launched a case claiming sex discrimination, unfair treatment and breach of holiday rights.

Sports Direct will now have to rewrite its job adverts and employment contracts to expressly state that they do not guarantee work. The retailer will have to produce clear written policies explaining the holiday and sick pay zero-hours workers are entitled to and display them prominently in stores.

In a statement, Sports Direct said: “Sports Direct confirms that we have reached a settlement with Ms Gabriel-Abraham. The settlement is without any admission of any liability on the part of Sports Direct whatsoever.

“It was clear from the proceedings that we and Ms Gabriel-Abraham felt equally strongly about our respective positions and that each had different perceptions of the events that took place.

“The company will continue the process of reviewing, updating and improving our core employment documents and procedures across our entire business beyond its existing compliant framework.”

Elizabeth George, from the law firm Leigh Day, which represented Ms Gabriel-Abraham, said: “Sports Direct continues to deny any wrongdoing or shortfalls in their treatment of zero-hours workers, but Zahera and many more of the company’s zero-hours staff will tell you differently.

“The changes that Zahera has achieved mean that there will now be total transparency about what sort of contract is on offer. Lack of transparency was one of the key concerns identified by the Government in its recent investigation into zero-hours contracts. The Government chose not to make transparency mandatory. This settlement means that it is now mandatory for Sports Direct.”

About 20,000 of Sports Direct’s 23,000 staff are employed on zero-hours contracts.

The steps agreed in relation to the company’s job advertisements will apply from November 25. All other changes have to be completed by the Company no later than February 25 2015.

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