According to The Guardian, store employees will fall from 813 staff to 475, while “hundreds” of remaining store staff are also expected to be moved to zero-hour contracts following the shake-up.
A note sent out to Evans staff, and seen by the paper, said management will be made to move from 40-hour contracts to 45-hour contracts, whilst other store employees will be switched from fixed-hours contracts to zero-hours contracts, or “casual worker agreements”.
The note added: “We cannot rely on old ways of running our business and we must adapt. These changes will look to address the cost of sales ratio in our stores and ensure that we are able to be more flexible with our cost base out of peak trading and during difficult trading periods.”
Mike Ashley has previously pledged to ditch zero-hours contracts in 2016 after facing criticism from unions and MPs following an internal report on workers’ conditions. At the time, he apologised to staff and pledged to be “one of the best employers in Britain”.
The following year, however, the chairman of the group, named Sports Direct at the time, said it would continue using zero-hour contracts, claiming that “a huge proportion of workers are happy to retain the flexibility”.
Frasers Group has been contacted for comment.