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Government launches low-pay inquiry

Working conditions and pay rates are to be investigated by parliament.

3028041 sports direct exterior

3028041 sports direct exterior

The business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committee has launched an inquiry into the future world of work, focusing on low-pay and poor working conditions.

Earlier this year, under its previous name of the business, innovation and skills committee, the committee ran an inquiry into working practices at Sports Direct. There were also calls for it to investigate conditions at Asos’s warehouse, but these were not put into action.

Iain Wright, chairman of the BEIS committee, said: “In our Sports Direct inquiry, we exposed shocking examples of poor working practices, of agency workers paid less than the minimum wage and exploited through dubious voluntary schemes, such as pre-paid debit cards and deductions from pay for insurance services.

“In recent months, we’ve seen growing evidence of agency workers and those working in the ‘gig economy’ being exposed to poor working conditions. This growing trend raises questions over employment status and lack of worker rights. In this inquiry, we want to hear from all interested parties so that we can help the government foster a vibrant, dynamic, innovative economy with laws that deliver the benefits of flexibility but which prevent exploitation.”

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