Sports Direct employees yet to receive back pay from Transline


Sports Direct workers who were paid less than the minimum wage have not yet received their back pay owed for their shifts.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) select committee yesterday heard that Transline, Sports Direct‘s employment agency, was refusing to refund unpaid wages before it took over contracts from Blue Arrow in 2014.

The payments were to be backdated to May 2012 and could be worth up to £1000 for some workers.

The accusation came from Steve Turner, the assistant general secretary of workers‘ union Unite, during a parliamentary inquiry on the future of working conditions, where MPs grilled Transline boss Jennifer Hardy for the second time since the Sports Direct warehouse conditions scandal last year.

Transline was part of an agreement last August to award workers around £1 million in back pay after it was revealed by a Guardian investigation that they had been paid less than the legal minimum.

READ MORE: Transline searches for new backers as it faces 2nd grilling from MPs

However, unions expressed concern at the time that Transline would refuse to refund unpaid wages from before it took over contracts from Blue Arrow.

A Transline spokesperson said all back payments were made to Transline employees covering the 2014-2016 period.

“For those employees that worked for Blue Arrow and then transferred to Transline, we have been working with HM Revenue & Customs and are awaiting their guidance on how Tupe (transfer of undertakings regulations) applies to the period that those employees worked for Blue Arrow,” the spokesperson said.

“We will act according to their feedback as soon as this is received.”

Blue Arrow has not yet provided comment.

Transline also wrote to the BEIS committee last September saying it had undertaken a full review to make sure its “operations are fully compliant”.

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