Sports Direct founder Ashley ‘accountable’ for conditions

MPs have given a damning indictment of working conditions at retail giant Sports Direct warning they could become the norm across the UK.

Founder Mike Ashley was told he was accountable for the “appalling” working conditions at the firm’s stores and its warehouse in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, with workers treated as “commodities” instead of human beings.

In a hard hitting report, the Business Committee said it had been presented with a “disturbing picture” of work practices during its inquiry into the company.

MPs said evidence presented by employment agencies, which employ staff for Sports Direct, was “woefully poor” and in some cases incorrect.

The committee said it was “deliberately mislead” by Transline and urged the company to clarify some of its evidence.

Its report said a spotlight had been shone on the working practices of Sports Direct, which was “extremely disturbing”.

“Workers at Sports Direct were not being paid the national minimum wage, and were being penalised for matters such as taking a short break to drink water and for taking time off work when ill,” it stated.