// Frasers Group defends zero-hours contracts amid shareholder revolt
// Over 50% independent shareholders in Frasers rejected plans for £100m bonus for new CEO
// Despite the protest vote, measures were approved after backing of Frasers’ founder Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has justified using zero-hours contracts by calling them “tough decisions that don’t work for everybody”, amid a shareholder revolt.
More than half of the independent shareholders in Frasers, which owns House of Fraser and Sports Direct, rejected plans for a £100 million bonus scheme for its incoming chief executive, Michael Murray.
They also rejected the payment of a £100,000 cash bonus and pay rise for its finance director, Chris Wootton.
Wootton suggested that zero-hours contracts, which Frasers has introduced for store workers at House of Fraser and Evans in the past year, had helped keep those businesses afloat.
Frasers Group has long used zero-hours contracts, which have been criticised by workers’ rights groups.
Nevertheless, the group sought approval for the bonus schemes for its senior executives at an annual meeting on Wednesday, with only two independent shareholders making it to the 9am event in the group’s head office in Shirebrook, Derbyshire.
Just over 55 per cent of independent shareholders voted against the group’s future remuneration policy, while just over 50 per cent voted against the remuneration report.
Despite the protest vote, the measures were approved thanks to the backing of the group’s founder and chief executive Ashley, who owns 64 per cent of Frasers’ shares.