Ashley under fire
Workers at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse will receive back pay totalling £1m amid allegations that the retailer did not pay minimum wage.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has fined the retailer £2m for not paying the correct wages to employees.
The news comes as unions and HMRC struck a deal to ensure 200 workers directly employed by Sports Direct and around 3,000 staff hired through temporary employment agencies are compensated fairly.
Steve Turner, Unite’s assistant general secretary, said: “Investors and customers alike should not be fooled into thinking that everything is now rosy at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse. Transline, one of the employment agencies involved, is disgracefully still trying to short-change workers by seeking to duck its responsibilities,” he said.
“Deep-seated problems still remain regarding the use of agency workers with the behaviour of both Transline and The Best Connection further jeopardising Sports Direct’s battered reputation.”
Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, said: “I welcome the fact that thousands of Sports Direct workers will at last be paid what is due to them, following the scandalous failure of their employer to pay the minimum wage.
“But it should not have taken months of pressure from MPs, trade unions and the general public. In light of the appalling practices at Sports Direct, it is only right that the Government imposes fines to send a clear signal to other rogue employers.”