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Sports Direct staff 'owed £20m' in wage claims

Sports Direct staff could be owed more than £20m in back pay after the sportswear retailer admitted some had been paid less than the national minimum wage in the past, union officials have estimated.

Sports Direct

Sports Direct

Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley last week admitted to MPs that hourly wage rates dipped as a result of “bottlenecks” in security checks at its Shirebrook warehouse, which delayed staff on site after they had clocked off.

He said the retailer was in talks with Revenue and Customs on back pay.

A spokesman for Unite told Drapers there is an offer on the table, which the union will put to its members “in the next couple of weeks”. The details of the offer cannot be made public until members have had a chance to review them, he added.

“We first formally raised the issue of working conditions and searches at Shirebrook at the Sports Direct AGM in September 2015,” he continued. “Following The Guardian’s undercover investigation at the end of that year, we called for a formal Revenue and Customs investigation into conditions and back pay.

”We will be looking at the offer for the 200 direct Sports Direct employees, as well as working with agencies to discuss the best way to secure a deal for our members and the 3,000 agency staff affected.”

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