Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley is to oversee a review of all agency worker terms and conditions at the company, the board has announced.
The move follows criticism of the retail giant’s pay and employment practices, including the use of zero hours contracts, under which staff don’t know how many hours they will work from one week to the next.
The Unite union has mounted a campaign against the company, holding demonstrations and briefing MPs in Parliament earlier this week.
In a long statement today, Sports Direct defended itself against the criticism.
The statement said: “Sports Direct has sought to address questions relating to its employment practices on a case-by-case basis directly with the enquirer, but it has become evident that by doing so various parties have chosen to ignore the facts provided and have continued to present an unfair portrayal of the company's employment practices.
“Sadly, it is also now clear that some others have chosen to rely on this portrayal when making public statements about Sports Direct, rather than obtaining information directly from the company before commenting.
“The board takes its responsibilities towards all the company’s stakeholders, be they staff, contractors, suppliers or customers, extremely seriously.
“Without our commitment to our staff and the implementation of a performance-led culture which encourages success, there is no way Sports Direct would have been able to grow from a single sports shop over 33 years ago to the global retailer it is today.”