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Goodmayes sports science student slams Sports Direct for treating him ‘in most disrespectful manner’

09:54 21 September 2016

Umair Ansari, who worked at Sports Direct on a zero-hour contract, claims he was

Umair Ansari, who worked at Sports Direct on a zero-hour contract, claims he was "unfairly dismissed" by the company.

Umair Ansari [umair-ansari786@hotmail.com]

A sports science student claims to have been treated in “the most disrespectful manner” by the retail chain Sports Direct.

Keen boxer Umair Ansari, 19, of Goodamyes, told the Recorder having been fired of his salesman position from the Sports Direct shop in King George Avenue, Newbury Park, after forgetting to check out at the end of a shift.

The student, who said having “accepted the mistake and apologised” to the managers, was called in to work for a normal shift to be told of his dismissal.

Umair branded the decision “unfair” and added: “I didn’t expect it at all.”

This comes as the sports retail chain has been in the spotlight after an investigation revealed the company’s warehouse staff were being paid below the minimum wage and a high proportion of staff were reported to be on zero-hour contracts.

Umair was employed on a zero-hour contract in May and hoped to work between 10 and 15 hours a week at the store to finance his sports science degree at Brunel university, in west London, but he said having worked as little as three-hours a week.

“I would have rather worked on a set-hour contract but I had no choice,” he said.

A Sports Direct spokesman said the company would not comment on individual cases but that staff working on zero-hour contracts would be given the option of a replacement contract that guarantees them at least 12 hours a week.

“It is our policy to treat all workers with dignity and respect,” he added.

Umair claims he was ranked first on the staff leadership board for many weeks and that no other incidents happened at the store to explain his dismissal.

He described the working conditions as “difficult” with shifts getting cut or cancelled sometimes only a few hours before he was meant to start and a high staff turnover.

“Everyone that works there ends up leaving after a few months and most of us were on zero-hour contracts. There is no job certainty,” he claimed.

“This job at Sports Direct was for me to gain experience in the sports sector and the unfair dismissal is an obstacle in my career before it has even started,” he added.

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