Sports Direct commits to supporting staff wellbeing

first_imgSports Direct plans to review and improve working conditions, which will include taking action to better support the wellbeing of staff and addressing pay issues.The plans were published in a Working practices report, compiled by Reynolds Porter Chamberlain on behalf of the board of Sports Direct International. It follows issues raised at a Select Committee hearing in June 2016, and the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee’s publication of a report into employment practices at Sports Direct in July 2016.The Working practices report details key areas for change within the business, highlighting measures that have already been taken as well as proposals for further amendments to working practices and policies to ensure staff are treated fairly.At the Select Committee hearing in June, Mike Ashley, founder of Sports Direct, admitted that workers at the retailer’s Shirebrook warehouse were paid below the national minimum wage. This was put down to time delays at security checkpoints on entry and exit at the warehouse and a system that saw staff docked for 15 minutes of pay, even if they were only one minute late.In January 2016, the security system was amended so that only five minutes of pay is docked if a member of staff is one minute late. To allow greater flexibility, the organisation has pledged to review whether this one-minute leeway should be increased to two minutes. The report also recommends staggering shifts to further reduce traffic levels through security.Sports Direct has also confirmed that it has paid back pay to directly employed staff at the warehouse following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs for underpayment of the national minimum wage.In December 2015, the organisation increased pay for staff on national minimum wage salaries by £0.15 an hour, to offset the impact that deduction of pay for late clocking in and other such issues on national minimum wage compliance.The organisation has also taken steps to ensure that store-based staff do not earn under the minimum wage as the result of unpaid training and cleaning. It has committed to look into this further as part of its review.To tackle employee wellbeing, Sports Direct is formalising a welfare fund for staff, as well as improving conditions in stores.A full-time nurse will be appointed to support the health and wellbeing of staff. There are also plans to appoint a welfare officer, and build an on-site gym at the Shirebrook warehouse.In light of the findings of the report, the organisation will also conduct a review of the HR function within the business, with the aim of strengthening it and increasing its profile.A further 12-month review into working practices will be conducted and reported to the organisation’s shareholders in 2017.Steve Turner, assistant general secretary at trade union Unite, said: “We welcome the commitment by the Sports Direct board to work constructively with Unite to bring about real change in its efforts to address labour abuses and become an exemplary employer.“While the report marks significant progress, not least the eradication of zero hour contracts in the stores and the six strikes and you are out system, Unite will be asking the board to go further and faster in a number areas when we engage with the [organisation].“Unite believes the board can be bolder in the coming months and put in place a framework agreement to move bigger numbers of agency workers into direct employment, as well eradicating the use of short hour contracts such as the annualised 336 hours contract currently in use at Shirebrook.“We will seek to work constructively with Sports Direct over the coming months to ensure it stays true to its promise to restore dignity and respect to the workplace.”last_img read more

Alaska News Nightly February 17 2015

first_imgStories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprn.Download AudioAlaska Lawmakers Frustrated After Meeting With Interior Secretary JewellAlexandra Gutierrez, APRN – JuneauAfter President Barack Obama announced a plan to designate most of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness, Alaska lawmakers seized a chance to meet his Interior Secretary on their own turf. A team of nine legislators took a break from session work in Juneau to travel to Kotzebue this week to confront Sally Jewell about those actions. But while the meeting was hyped, neither the delegation nor the Secretary described it as a showdown.Sen. Murkowski Says Protecting Lands Is Top Priority Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – JuneauBeyond filing lawsuits and requesting meetings with administration officials, there’s little Alaska’s legislative or executive branches can do to influence President Barack Obama’s approach to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.Lawsuit Challenges Alaska’s Regulation Restricting Abortions For Low Income Women Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – AnchorageA trial got underway today in Anchorage in a lawsuit challenging the state regulation that restricts abortions for low income women.Brent Sass Outduels Allen Moore For Yukon Quest Win Emily Schwing, KUAC – FairbanksEureka musher Brent Sass cruised across the finish line in Fairbanks last night to win this year’s Yukon Quest. Sass has been trying to win the Quest for years.  This year, he gave up a ten hour lead to two-time defending champion Allen Moore, who refused to give up easily.Alaska Budget Cuts Threaten Local Jails Rachel Waldholz, KCAW – SitkaGov. Bill Walker plans to submit a budget amendment that would restore some funding to the community jails program. Corrections commissioner Ronald Taylor made comments during a joint subcommittee hearing Monday eveningSitka is one of several local departments who say the proposed cuts were so deep, it could force their jail to close.Rescued Hiker: “We Definitely Got More Than We Bargained For”Casey Kelly, KTOO – JuneauOne of four Juneau hikers rescued off a wind-scoured mountain earlier this month says the group was looking for a bit of an adventure, but may have gotten more than they bargained for.“Emotional Creature” Teaches Young Women To Speak Anne Hillman, KSKA – AnchorageA new play opened this weekend at Cyrano’s Playhouse in Anchorage from the author of the Vagina Monologues. On stage, the songs and monologues tell the true stories of traumas faced by young women around the world. But behind the scenes, it’s the tale of Anchorage’s young women learning what it means to be an “Emotional Creature.”last_img read more