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Sports Direct ordered to pay workers £1 million in backpay

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Sports Direct ordered to pay workers £1 million in backpay

Employees at Sports Direct’s Derbyshire distribution centre will receive backpay of around £1 million after earning less than minimum wage, Unite union report.

The Union has criticised the sports retailer over its “Victorian” working practices, and said the payments could be worth up to £1,000 for some workers.

“This is a significant victory in Unite’s ongoing campaign to secure justice and dignity at work for workers at Sports Direct and demonstrates the importance of modern trade unions in Britain today,” said Steve Turner, Unite assistant general secretary.

In June, Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley admitted to paying his workforce less than minimum wage at a Business, innovation and Skills (BIS) hearing.

Iain Wright, chair of the BIS select committee, said: “The back payments represent a lot of money which employees should have received in the first place”.

Sports Direct had also been found to conduct “appalling” workplace practices, including a “six strikes and you are out policy”, where strikes were given to members of staff for spending too long in the lavatory, taking breaks to drink water or taking time off when their children were unwell.

Mr Wright added: “Working practices continue to be under the spotlight at Sports Direct. Mike Ashley will be updating us in the autumn on the steps he has taken to address the appalling practices that have been identified and we will be checking that he is as good as his word”.