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PCA PRESS RELEASE

The PCA contract advice and negotiator service has uncovered widespread employment contract abuses in the county game.

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The Professional Cricketers’ Association has unearthed widespread employment contract abuses in the county game with 12 players found to be paid or offered terms below the national minimum wage and at least six counties using unapproved employment contracts in the past 12-months alone.

In the past year the PCA has discovered nine professional players employed on unapproved contracts paying them below the national minimum wage, with at least three other players offered similar terms. PCA Chairman Daryl Mitchell wants the situation rectified.

“It is extremely disappointing that in the last 12-months alone we have found nine players being paid under the national minimum wage and at least three others offered similar agreements,” said Mitchell.

“On top of which, we know at least six counties are using contracts that are different to the standard contract agreed with the ECB for use by all counties. Sometimes these so-called contracts are nothing more than a one-page letter.

“The standard contract was negotiated and agreed to ensure certain minimum terms are adhered to including minimum salary levels. We are also concerned about the potential impact on insurance provision and other basic employment rights if counties are not using the approved contracts.

"We need to make sure we protect the players’ rights to a fair contract and it seems to me that some players are being exploited by their counties."

DARYL MITCHELL, PCA CHAIRMAN

“We need to make sure we protect the players’ rights to a fair contract and it seems to me that some players are being exploited by their counties. It is easy for players and in particular those just making their way in the game to feel under pressure to sign deals below minimum wage. They can be influenced that if they do not sign then their dream of playing professionally will be over.

“This is an area we are working really hard on to put right and we have achieved some positive results so far. However, this should not be an issue within professional cricket and we are fighting to stamp out unapproved contracts within the game.

“I know that the ECB share our concerns and we are working with them to ensure this is not the case in the county game going forward.”

The PCA was formed in 1967 to establish players’ rights and a recognised standard contract for professional cricketers. Since then the PCA has evolved to support individual members with their personal contracts with clear and comprehensive contractual support highlighted as one of two core activities for the PCA, alongside the Personal Development and Welfare Programme.

“I know that the ECB share our concerns and we are working with them to ensure this is not the case in the county game going forward.”

DARYL MITCHELL, PCA CHAIRMAN

The PCA contract advice and negotiator service was grown on a more formal basis by former deputy CEO Jason Ratcliffe and in May 2017 the PCA appointed Rich Hudson as Player Contracts Advisor to dedicate a full-time resource to support player needs.

Through the PCA’s service, the association has successfully championed around 50% of the membership in England and Wales in the past 12-months when it comes to support with contracts.

The PCA offers contract advice and negotiation services to all its members, providing support on contractual matters, salary benchmarking and handling negotiations on behalf of the individual.

Since the beginning of May 2017 players in England and Wales have benefited by a total of £1,350,000 in salary payments with members at all 18 first-class counties gaining advice on their contracts through the PCA.