Sports Direct agency in scrap with HMRC over back payments to warehouse workers

Helen Cahill
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General Views of Sports Direct Shops
The majority of workers in Sports Direct's warehouse are agency workers (Source: Getty)

Transline, the agency that provides workers to Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse, is facing a dispute with HMRC over back payments to workers who were paid less than the minimum wage on the site.

The recruitment agency has said it is not liable to pay back employees who worked for Blue Arrow, a separate agency, who were later transferred to Transline.

Read more: Ambulance figures show there is no let-up for workers at Sports Direct

Transline said in a statement: "All back payments have been made to Transline employees over the period in question. For those employees that worked for Blue Arrow and then transferred to Transline, we have been working with HMRC and are awaiting their guidance...We will act according to their feedback as soon as this is received."

The scrap emerged as part of evidence given by Unite union to a panel of MPs today. The committee was examining agency work in the UK. Steve Turner, assistant general secretary of Unite union, said there was a “mixed picture” at Sports Direct following a working practices scandal at the retailer last year.

Around 90 per cent of warehouse workers at Sports Direct are agency workers. The retailer has now committed to taking 18,000 retail workers off zero-hours contracts.

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