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No different to the 4.2 million self-employed people, many of who are only doing so as they cannot get permanent contracts.
 
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This is a non-story.

Employment status of this type is common in customer facing industries which have seasonal and/or weekend and evening peaks. Retail, hospitality and leisure companies all employ similar tactics. Do you think the vast majority of McDonald's employees for example are not in a similar situation ?


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Most employees have it too cushy, it's all to easy to hold employers to ransom.
 

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This is a non-story.

Employment status of this type is common in customer facing industries which have seasonal and/or weekend and evening peaks. Retail, hospitality and leisure companies all employ similar tactics. Do you think the vast majority of McDonald's employees for example are not in a similar situation ?


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Does that make it right?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If I have understood this correctly, a loyal hard working employee who has worked there for 6 years could be turned away for any reason they choose?

Even on gov.uk website, Part-time workers' rights state they should be entitled to holiday, pay rates, bonus etc. So they got out of that one.

The link in the OP also states (although not fact) 'most of Britain's other major retailers - including Tesco (Other OTC: TSCDF - news) , Asda, Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY.L - news) 's, Morrisons, and Marks & Spencer (Other OTC: MAKSF - news) - do not use zero-hours contracts.'

It's not like the company is struggling either with pre-tax profits of over £200M last year. IMO it puts the employee is a bad position, you will struggle with housing without a 'safe' job, credit / loans etc, even getting a dentist/doctors appointment seems to be difficult. Rumor is they have done this to escape / save £30k a year in the pension scheme.

Maybe it's just me, but I find it very unethical.
 

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I'd never heard of such contracts until my nephew started working at PCWorld on one of these contracts. Basically it gives the employer pretty much infinite control over his labour costs.

My nephew was supposed to have a full time job on a rota basis over a 7 day week - but some weeks he worked as little as 2 days. He would turn up for work at 8am, get called into his bosses office at about 10am and be told that "it looks like it'll be quiet today so go home" and he would have to take the rest of the day unpaid.

Some weeks he would work 8am-pm8 6 days a week, other weeks he would do 2 days of 5 hours each. Totally played havoc with any ability he had to budget his expenses, but was perfect for the employer who could tweak his workforce literally by the hour.

All sounded a bit Victorian to me, but like many 20 year olds he had absolutely no other options and no choice but to work on this basis.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Some weeks he would work 8am-pm8 6 days a week, other weeks he would do 2 days of 5 hours each. Totally played havoc with any ability he had to budget his expenses, but was perfect for the employer who could tweak his workforce literally by the hour.
Isn't their a maximum number of working hours per week nowadays? (or something similar?, I know there was an opt out by the employee)
 

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Hate to break it to you, but it is a non story. It's how shops have been doing it for 25+ years, just with a different name to it.
When I worked part time in a major high street chain (to pay my way through university), I had a contract, but it was 5 hours per week. It may as well have been zero hours. I didn't get holiday pay, I didn't get sick pay. At busy times I worked a lot more than 5 hours, and got paid for them. But if I didn't turn up at work, I didn't get paid.
...and I didn't go crying to anyone claiming how unfair it is.

If it's a big deal to you that part time workers should get more rights than full time ones, then your best bet is to choose carefully where you shop.
...and if you want to make sure, then shop somewhere where the staff are partners in the business, not just employees.
That leaves you with very few companies, namely:
The Co-op
John Lewis
Waitrose
 

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There's no way that SD's demand is so variable that 20 out of 23 staff should be part time. It's an unpleasant bodge to get complete control over staff costs.
 

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Isn't their a maximum number of working hours per week nowadays? (or something similar?, I know there was an opt out by the employee)
European Working time directive, which is averaged hours per week over a number of weeks (I might be wrong but I think it's something like 48hrs per week over 8 week period)
 

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Interestingly, my daughter has just got a part-time job at SD so I will report on just how awful it is.

A long time ago I worked in a supermarket part-time whilst failing my A-levels. I was contracted to work 15 hours a week. The reality was that when I was due to start at 12pm, they rang and told (not asked) me to start at 8am. I was due to finish at 6pm on Saturdays and was rarely out before 8pm.

I lasted 6 weeks. One Saturday, my Dad came down to give me a lift home about an hour after I was due to finish. He wandered into the store through the staff entrance and asked me what time I was finishing. I lobbed my "uniform" on a stack of beans and walked out.
 

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Hate to break it to you, but it is a non story. It's how shops have been doing it for 25+ years, just with a different name to it.
When I worked part time in a major high street chain (to pay my way through university), I had a contract, but it was 5 hours per week. It may as well have been zero hours. I didn't get holiday pay, I didn't get sick pay. At busy times I worked a lot more than 5 hours, and got paid for them. But if I didn't turn up at work, I didn't get paid.
...and I didn't go crying to anyone claiming how unfair it is.

If it's a big deal to you that part time workers should get more rights than full time ones, then your best bet is to choose carefully where you shop.
...and if you want to make sure, then shop somewhere where the staff are partners in the business, not just employees.
That leaves you with very few companies, namely:
The Co-op
John Lewis
Waitrose
I think you're talking about what used to be known as "casual labour". My nephew was offered the PC World job as a full time job. He wasn't doing it for weekend pin money.

That's why it IS a story. What used to be the norm for students and part time people who were always an optional extra to the full time workforce - is now being used for THE full time workforce in some retailers.
 

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But of course you will also notice it refers to 20,000+ of the 23,000 employees are classified as part-time - so effectively it is the core retail workforce of the group.

Not the odd saturday worker.....
 

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The first time I heard of this was at a fast food place and believe several offer the benefits of zero hours contracts. Is it not just a way of buying cheap labour whilst getting round minimum pay?
I've posted this before; this is one reason why I use the likes of john lewis and avoid/boycott others. No problem on voting with my feet but sadly not everyone sees it that way.
It also a reason to buy independent, direct from source if possible andaybe fair trade. I will also avoid major retailers who refuse to recognize unions.


Up the workers.
 
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