Pub chain JD Wetherspoon is to offer staff on controversial zero-hours contracts the chance to move to more stable working hours.
A trial of fixed-hour contracts launched earlier this year has proved so popular that it will now be rolled out nationwide. The move could affect 24,00 staff.
“In spite of me saying there’s no advantage with them, we’ve had quite a good take-up of 70% to 80%,” Wetherspoon’s founder, Tim Martin, told news site Buzzfeed.
McDonald’s announced similar changes back in April, but take-up has been nowhere as high. Sports Direct has also been the subject of intense media scrutiny for its treatment of workers on casual contracts.
Statistics released by the Office for National Statistics last week show that the number of people on zero-hours contracts has exceeded 900,000.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy played down the figure. “Fewer than 3% of the UK workforce classes itself as being on a zero hours contract in their main job, with almost 70% of those on this type of contract happy with the number of hours they work,” a spokeperson explained.