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Lesbian lawyer Elizabeth George fights to end zero hours contracts
Lawyers are not always the most popular people in the world, but here’s one who might make you think twice about that judgement. Elizabeth George is a client-focussed lawyer who has been described as a “bloody marvel”, and we couldn’t agree more.
The experienced employment and discrimination barrister heads a team of specialist lawyers dealing with complex, high-value and high-profile claims, and she believes in affordable legal representation.
George transferred to the bar 10 years ago and has since made a name for herself passionately advocating for women’s equality, championing flexible working and challenging misogyny
disguised as office banter. She was also named The Times’ Lawyer of the Week after she successfully acted for a pregnant RAF officer who was expelled from the Falkland Islands.
Recently, she went toe to toe with Business Secretary Vince Cable over controversial zero hours contracts, and because of her tireless work, retail chain Sports Direct have agreed to major changes for all zero hours staff.
“Zero hours workers are not second class workers,” George said. “They have the right to be treated fairly and with respect. They have the right to take holidays and to be paid when they take them. They have the right to statutory sick pay. They have a right to request guaranteed hours. Sports Direct will now have to make that crystal clear to staff.”
The case, which was supported by 38 Degrees, has been described as a landmark one, and although the zero hours battle isn’t yet won, because of George’s work the biggest employers are taking note and upping their game. Laura Townshend from the campaigning organisation said: “Thousands of 38 Degrees members supported this historic challenge to Sports Direct’s use of zero hours staff. Now this legally binding commitment has lifted the bar for every other employer. It leaves big business with no more excuses.”
BARRISTER ELIZABETH GEORGE IS A DRIVING FORCE IN THE CAMPAIGN TO END ZERO HOURS CONTRACTS