Sports Direct has said that it will offer casual retail staff guaranteed hours instead of zero-hours contracts and ensure all warehouse staff are paid above the UK’s National Minimum Wage following a review into working practices at the retailer.
Conditions at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse have come into sharp focus after company boss Mike Ashley was grilled by MPs in the wake of a newspaper investigation which revealed that hundreds of staff were being paid below the national minimum wage.
Mr Ashley (pictured) told MPs from the Business Select Committee in June that staff were not paid during security searches at the end of their shift, meaning they took home less than the minimum amount required by law.
However, the tales of woe deepened when Unite the union made clear in its submission to the committee that staff were subject to “Victorian” working practices and lived in constant fear of losing their job or facing disciplinary action for “excessive” talking or spending too long in the toilet.
The union said workers had likened conditions to a “gulag” or “labour camp”, with one woman giving birth and other female staff making claims of sexual harassment.