Sports Direct - National Minimum Wage January 2016

Thank you for contacting me recently regarding your concerns about the employment practices of Sports Direct.

I am aware of the report in The Guardian last year that alleged that the company was paying some workers effective hourly rates of pay below the National Minimum Wage. My Shadow Front Bench colleagues rightly called for the Government to order an urgent investigation concerning the allegations. If the allegations are true, I would expect HM Revenue & Customs to fully investigate and leave no stone unturned.

As you may now be aware, Sports Direct announced in December 2015 that it would pay its staff more than the National Minimum Wage from the start of January. The Chair of the Business, Innovations and Skills Committee has invited the deputy chairman of Sports Direct to give evidence about this commitment and regarding a committee inquiry into employee rights, working conditions and low-paid agency work. I will closely follow this and any other developments.

More generally, I am proud that the last Labour Government introduced the National Minimum Wage, when people in our country were earning as little as £1 an hour. However, it is estimated that at least 250,000 workers are not being paid the National Minimum Wage, and in the last Parliament it was revealed that just nine firms had been charged for non-compliance with the National Minimum Wage. I would like to see real action from the Government in enforcing the National Minimum Wage.

Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views on this important issue.