Apparel retailer brand Gap is ending a controversial scheduling practice that would end on-call shifts at all of its stores. The brand has vowed to provide employees with at least 10-14 day’s notice, as part of push to improve work-life balance.
The announcement follows an inquiry made by New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman's office within the legality of on-call shifts at 13 retailers, incorporating Target Corp., Gap, TJX Cos Inc., JC Penney Co. Inc., and Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
L Brands Inc. and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. took similar pledges, which came in a blog post Wednesday afternoon by Banana Republic President - Andi Owen, and was coupled with Women’s Equality Day.
Gaps’ representative, Lauren Wilkinson said that they knew that as a company, women are important behind their success, and added that women represent about 74 per cent of the company’s workforce.
Ms. Owen also stated that women represent about 73 per cent of the company’s store manager and 64 per cent of the senior officers.
Ms. Wilkinson stated in an email that each Gap’s brands are aligned to phase out on-call schedules by the end of September. Also, in the month of September, company officials will start providing employees at least 10 to 14 days’ notice of schedules. The newly framed policies will be implemented in each Gap’s store across the US by early 2016. Ms. Wilkinson added that the company officials have reviewed their international operations, and have found no need for adjustments.
On-call shift requires employees to be on call for shift, which may be canceled with a little notice. The system allows retailers to adjust staffing schedules based on real-time sales and store traffic information as detected by scheduling software. The software helps companies to reduce under-staffing and over-staffing in their stores.
Gap was one of the retail brands that have received warning letters from New York Attorney General saying that such practices may violate state law.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. asserted that it would end up their on-call scheduling for all employees paid by the hour by the end of the year. While, in June, Victoria secret, owned by L Brands Inc. said that it has also agreed to cease the practice for workers.