Report finds 'Victorian' style working conditions at Sports Direct warehouse

Report finds 'Victorian' style working conditions at Sports Direct warehouse

Retail giant Sport Direct has been accused by MP’s of treating their staff like “commodities rather than human beings” further to a report carried out by the Business, Innovation and Skills committee.

Findings of the report have been described as “extremely disturbing”. They found out that staff are not paid the minimum wage, that they are penalised for taking breaks to drink water, or for ringing in sick. Staff are routinely searched before they can leave the building, these searches take place once their shifts are complete which means that they are having to stay on work premises in their own time.

The owner of Sports Direct is billionaire Mike Ashley and the warehouse in question is 800,000 square foot, located in Nottingham and currently employees around 1,500 people.

The report also found that a staggering 110 emergency vehicles were called to the warehouse in the six years up until April 2016. Reasons they were called include instances of chest pain, strokes, amputation of fingers, a fractured neck and a crushed hand.

Chairman of the committee, Iain Wright comments: "The evidence we heard points to a business whose working practices are closer to that of a Victorian workhouse than that of a modern, reputable high street retailer.

"For these serious health and safety breaches to occur in the UK in 2016 is a serious indictment of the management at Sports Direct and Mike Ashley, as the face of Sports Direct, must be held accountable for these failings."

There are also additional fears that these terrible practices could become normal if other unscrupulous firms attempt to mirror Sports Directs operations.

The recruitment agencies, The Best Connection and Transline, must also be held accountable because of their knowledge of what was taking place yet still supplying the staff to work at the warehouse. They have demonstrated a total lack of understanding employment law and its connotations.

Head of the Lawson-West Employment team, Ashley Hunt comments: “This is a truly shocking story and seemingly undoes the work that the government and Employment Lawyers have put into place over many years. If you feel you are working in unsatisfactory conditions or that an employment agency you are signed up with are not doing what they promise, please contact myself of a member of our team on 01858 445480/0116 212 1000.”

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