Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Austin demands investigation into working conditions at Sports Direct

Dudley MP Ian Austin has demanded a government investigation into working conditions at retailer Sports Direct.

It has been reported that many of the 27,000 staff employed by Sports Direct are working on zero-hours contracts and taking home less than the minimum wage as a result of the firm’s practices.

Evidence has emerged showing that Sports Direct warehouse staff are required to undergo lengthy, unpaid strip searches at the end of each shift and are docked a minimum of 15 minutes’ pay for arrive to work one minute late. It’s estimated that the practices result in workers being paid significantly less than the minimum wage of £6.70 an hour.

Austin has tabled a series of urgent Parliamentary Questions demanding that the Government launches an investigation into the firm’s treatment of its staff and adherence to minimum wage rules.

The MP has previously campaigned for a ban on exploitative zero-hours contracts that require staff to be available at all times and work for their employer exclusively.

Ian Austin said:

“Sports Direct is a booming business that has made its owner a billionaire.

“It’s a scandal that they are paying their staff less the minimum wage and putting them on zero-hours contracts where job security is non-existent.

“The Government must launch an urgent investigation into working practices at the chain and ensure that workers are being paid a fair wage.

Ian Austin has tabled the following Parliamentary Questions for answer on 15th December:

  • To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment his department has made of working practices at Sports Direct.
  • To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his department has taken to investigate whether employees of Sports Direct are paid the minimum wage.
  • To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if his department will investigate reports of unfair working practices at Sports Direct.
  • To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the legality of requiring employees to undergo daily security checks outside of paid hours.
  • To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the legality the practice of docking 15 minutes’ pay for arriving to work 1 minute late.
  • To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will ask HMRC to investigate enforcement of the minimum wage at Sports Direct.
  • To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will ask HMRC to investigate enforcement of the minimum wage at Sports Direct.
  • To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the Guardian investigation into working practices and wages at Sports Direct.
  • To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his department has taken to investigate whether employees of Sports Direct are paid the minimum wage.
  • To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the legality of requiring employees to undergo daily security checks outside of paid hours.
  • To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the legality the practice of docking 15 minutes' pay for arriving to work 1 minute late.

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