Some 10% of people working in retail – equivalent to roughly 300,000 staff – are employed on zero-hour contracts.
A survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) revealed zero-hour contracts, in which there is no guarantee of regular hours, sick pay or holiday, are more widespread than previously thought.
Although used throughout retail, the sector employs fewer people on this basis than the national average of 19%, which equates to about one million people.
CIPD chief economist Mark Beatson told Drapers: “There is anecdotal evidence that some big retail players have been moving away from these kind of contracts, but obviously there are some who still use them.”
Beatson added: “If you are managing the business, you probably don’t need that many zero-hour contract workers because you can use other forms of flexible contracts.”
However, some retailers continue to use them for the majority of staff. Sports Direct, for example, has 20,000, or 90%, of its staff on zero-hour contracts.