Sports Direct issues new tannoy policy as it releases report into shortcomings in working practices

Caitlin Morrison
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Sports Direct has told staff not to use the tannoy system to criticise staff (Source: Getty)

Sports Direct has issued a new set of guidelines for employees using the tannoy system at its warehouse in Shirebrook - and told workers it should never be used for rebukes or criticisms.

The retailer has previously come under fire for a number of its alleged working practices at the north of England warehouse, and one method the company reportedly used to keep staff in line was criticising individual employees over the tannoy for not working hard enough.

Although founder Mike Ashley said, when questioned by MPs, that he believed stories about the misuse of the tannoy were "a bit of a myth", he also said: "If we are abusing it, we deserve the cane."

And in Sports Direct's report on its working practices, released today, the company set out its new policy on tannoy use at the warehouse.

"We have not seen any compelling evidence of this systematic use but this is not perhaps surprising given that the announcements are not recorded," the company stated.

"Mainly it seems to be used for example to redeploy staff to other areas of the building or to let staff know that a truck is waiting for stock to be removed/filled.

"However anecdotally it was acknowledged by some that they had heard it being used to point out performance shortcomings in named staff. To the extent that this may have caused anxiety or embarrassment to staff then the board will not tolerate that behaviour."

The business has decided that "going forward the tannoy must only be used for logistical purposes such as locating or directing staff members and to cover health and safety issues".

The company has set out a new list of guidelines for the use of its tannoy system (Source: Sports Direct)

Sports Direct said it will monitor compliance with the policy on an on-going basis, with the use of spot checks.

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