Sports Direct kicks back at Ed Miliband for zero-hours contract criticism

Sarah Spickernell
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Labour plans to tackle the "zero-zero economy" (Source: Getty)
Sports Direct has dismissed negative comments made by Labour leader Ed Miliband about its employment contracts.
Miliband said the use of zero-hours contracts – where the retailer does not have to guarantee regular work to its employees – meant it was a “terrible place to work”, and added that he intends to “ban the exploitation” enabled by such contracts.
According to Labour, 17,000 out of 20,000 of the company's employees work under this type of contract.
Miliband has already pledged to tackle the “zero-zero economy” - the result of too many working on zero hour contacts while a few at the top are subject to zero tax.
"We cannot go on with an economy that allows businesses to use zero-hours contracts as the standard way of employing people month after month, year after year," he said. "These Victorian practices have no place in the 21st Century."
In response to the criticism, the company has released a statement saying it is reviewing its “core” employment procedures.
"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,” it said.
The company's spokesman added: "With enemies like these, who needs friends?"- a tongue-in-cheek comment thought to refer to Miliband's current unpopularity within his own party.

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