Sports Direct agrees to pay staff £1million in back pay

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Thousands of workers at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse are set to receive back pay totalling an estimated £1 million for non-payment of the minimum wage.

Trade Union Unite has announced today that 96 per cent of Unite members directly employed by Sports Direct at Shirebrook backed the deal secured by Unite.

The payments, back dated to May 2012 for direct employees and agency workers, cover unpaid searches at the end of shifts and could be worth up to £1,000 for some workers, the union estimates.

Workers directly employed by Sports Direct and through the employment agency The Best Connection are expected to start receiving the back pay in full towards the end of August.

However the union said around 1,700 Transline Agency workers at the Shirebrook site may only receive half the back-pay they are owed because of the firm’s ‘refusal to honour its commitments’ from when it took over from Blue Arrow in 2014.

The back pay follows an admission by retail tycoon Mike Ashley of non-payment of the minimum wage at a recent hearing of the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills (BiS) select committee.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “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.

Workers at Sports Direct’s Derbyshire base will receive back-pay of about £1m for non-payment of the minimum wage, according to the Unite union.

The distribution centre in Shirebrook has been under scrutiny over its “Victorian” working practices.