Zero-hours con­tracts have had a bad time in the press. Mike Ash­ley, founder of Sports Dir­ect, has taken a pound­ing after uproar over work­ers con­di­tions, and after vehe­mently defend­ing his pos­i­tion, he is remark­ably mak­ing a U‑turn, ditch­ing the con­tro­ver­sial zero-hours employ­ment arrange­ments. A large num­ber of com­pan­ies new also turn­ing their backs on zero hours, includ­ing Cine­world, Greene King and Weth­er­spoons.