Sports Direct to spend £10m on boosting staff salaries

Sports Direct International has said it will spend £10 million (€14m) increasing workers’ salaries as it seeks to end a dispute over its treatment of employees.

Starting from today, the UK retailer will pay staff above the British national minimum wage, it said in a statement yesterday.

The increase will benefit about 15,000 mainly store employees on contracts that don’t guarantee them a minimum amount of work, and 4,000 staff at its warehouse in Shirebrook, central England, the Daily Mirror reported, citing an interview with founder Mike Ashley.

Mr Ashley said last month that he will personally oversee a review of the company’s handling of workers at the Shirebrook depot after newspaper reports that mandatory staff searches at the end of shifts meant they effectively received below the minimum wage.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Mr Ashley said he wants to see Sports Direct become the best employer among UK retailers after the staff-owned John Lewis Partnership.

Sports Direct workers aged 21 and over will see their salary rise to £6.85 an hour from the national minimum of £6.70.

Those aged from 18 to 20 will get a raise to £5.45 from £5.30, it has been reported.

Calling the move a “PR stunt”, the Unite trade union urged Mr Ashley to lay out the scope and timing of his review of work conditions at Shirebrook.


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