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Sports Direct workers await agency back-pay

A number of Sports Direct warehouse workers are still waiting to hear whether they will receive reparation from their employment agency over non-payment of the national minimum wage, it emerged today.

Sports Direct has already compensated those it directly employs, such as shop floor staff.

However, Transline, one of the two agencies that provides workers for Sports Direct’s warehouse in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, is refusing to refund unpaid wages from before it took over the contracts from rival agency Blue Arrow in May 2014.

Workers are owed back-pay for the period between 1 May 2012 and 31 August 2015.

The issue was brought to the attention of the government’s business, energy and industrial strategy committee by Unite’s assistant general secretary, Steve Turner, during a session in parliament on Tuesday. The committee is holding an inquiry into the future world of work and the rights of workers.

Unite has argued that Transline has a duty to pay the full amount under TUPE regulations, which protect an employee’s terms and conditions if their contract is transferred to a new employer.

A spokesman for Transline said: “All back-payments have been made to Transline employees over the period in question.

“For those employees that worked for Blue Arrow and then transferred to Transline, we have been working with Revenue and Customs, and are awaiting their guidance on how TUPE applies to the period that those employees worked for Blue Arrow.

“We will act according to their feedback as soon as this is received.”

Transline did not disclose how many workers were affected.

The other agency used by Sports Direct, The Best Connection, has paid up in full, according to Unite.


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