The government’s investigation into Sports Direct’s alleged failure to pay its warehouse workers the national minimum wage is being widened to include the chain’s 13,000 retail staff, according to reports.
This could significantly increase the amount of money Sports Direct will have to pay back to its employees, The Guardian claims.
Last month, Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley admitted during a parliamentary investigation that hourly wage rates at the Shirebrook warehouse had at times dipped as a result of “bottlenecks” in security checks, which delayed staff on site after they had clocked off.
He said the retailer was in talks with Revenue and Customs on back pay.
However, he has “strongly disputed” that the retailer generally pays less than the legal minimum.
Union officials have estimated that Sports Direct could owe the warehouse workers more than £20m in total.
A spokesman for Revenue and Customs said it could not comment on an individual case.
He added: “We always investigate businesses where we believe the national minimum wage is not being paid. We act on information from a range of sources, including workers, third parties or from our own proactive intelligence work.”