This is what happened…
Many Sports Direct workers are still awaiting back pay they are owed after being paid below minimum wage.
Steve Turner, the assistant general secretary of the Unite union, told MPs on the business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) select committee that Transline has refused to honour part of the deal. This is one of the employment agencies who was exposed in an undercover Guardian investigation.
The agency was involved in an agreement last August where it would award around £1m in back pay to the workers that lost out.
The payments were set to be backdated to May 2012, this meant that some workers could be obtaining up to £1,000.
There was also expressed concern that Transline would refuse to refund the wages from before it took over contracts from Blue Arrow in 2014.
Turner told MPs: “Transline have refused to pay the back payment for the non-payment of national minimum wage for the period of employment that employees had before Transline took over the contract. So they are refusing to honour the transfer of undertakings regulations [commonly referred to as Tupe].”
“This is a huge issue. This is hundreds and hundreds of pounds for thousands of workers, where Best Connection, the other agency, has honoured the agreement and paid in full. Sports Direct has paid in full. But one agency, Transline, has decided it’s not going to do that.”
A Transline spokesperson said: “All back payments have been made to Transline employees over the period in question [2014-2016]. For those employees that worked for Blue Arrow and then transferred to Transline, we have been working with HM Revenue & Customs and are awaiting their guidance on how Tupe applies to the period that those employees worked for Blue Arrow. We will act according to their feedback as soon as this is received.”
Blue Arrow has declined to comment on the issue.
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