Sports Direct has been under increasing pressure from Government and the media due to accusations of unfair and possibly illegal working practices.
The focus of most investigations into the organisations have been on the company’s main warehouse Shirebrook. It was discovered employees were being paid below the minimum wage. Alongside that the company’s use of zero-hour contracts has come under a lot of criticism.
Now after a series of negotiations a deal has been arranged that will benefit thousands of workers. The Unite union in partnership with HMRC struck the payment settlement.
Now Sports Direct will back pay workers to the amount of one million pounds following their admission that they had not been meeting the minimum pay threshold.
The back pay will cover all dates since May 2012, some workers are expected to receive up to one thousand pounds. Both contracted staff and agency workers will receive the payments.
The owner of the business, Mike Ashley, also the owner of Newcastle United football club, had previously admitted to MPs that Sports Direct has forced workers into physical searches as they left work, to ensure no goods had been stolen.
They were not paid for this time and invasion of their personal space, and this pushed pay under the minimum wage. Additionally she staff were hit with a 15 minutes worth of day cut if they were only one minute late for their shift. However, if they worked late no extra cash was put into their wages.
Workers at the Shirebrook warehouse are employed either directly by Sports Direct or through one of two employment agencies, The Best Connection and Transline.
Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner 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.”