Mike Ashley admits some Sports Direct staff effectively paid below minimum wage


Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has admitted that he paid workers below the minimum wage, also telling MPs that he has discovered "issues" with working practices at the retailer as part of an internal review.

Ashley told MPs from the Business Select Committee that security guards at the company's Shirebrook warehouse held up staff from leaving, meaning they were effectively paid less than the minimum wage.

MPs are investigating working practices at Sports Direct's warehouse, including poor conditions, the use of controversial zero-hours contracts and payment procedures.

Ashley described his review as a "work in progress", adding: "I've discovered some issues and I've hopefully addressed some of those issues. Bottlenecks at security are the main issue."

Earlier, MPs heard from the Unite union that a "culture of fear" pervaded at the warehouse, claiming that one Sports Direct employee was forced to give birth in a toilet.

The union warned of a "race to the bottom" in working practices, adding abuses were a real "danger to the economy".

Steve Turner, assistant general secretary of Unite, said conditions at the retail giant's warehouse in Derbyshire were more like a "workhouse" or "gulag".