Mike Ashley before Commons Select Committee

The Newcastle United owner and Sports Direct boss is appearing before the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee to answer questions about employment practices at the firm's Derbyshire headquarters.

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Sports Direct warehouse a 'normal working environment'

The recruitment agency who provides staff to Sports Direct has described conditions at the retail chain's warehouses as a "normal working environment".

The agency representatives said Sports Direct's six-strikes policy was there to "help" workers and said they were unaware of mistreatment of workers.

Recruitment agencies Transline and Best Connection supply Sports Direct with 4,000 staff.

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills tweeted:


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Sports Direct staff face 'six strikes and you're out'

Staff at Sports Direct warehouses face a "six strikes and you're out" policy if they breach a set list of offences, including "excessive talking" and taking too long in the toilet.

The Unite union criticised the list for establishing a culture of fear.

Speaking to MPs ahead of Mike Ashley's appearance, the union criticised the retail chain's bosses for displaying "arrogance and contempt".

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills tweeted:

Union leaders also confirmed talks had been held with HM Revenue and Customs about back pay for workers at Sports Direct amid claims of underpayment.

They also disclosed that workers who do not have a bank account have their wages paid via a debit card which they have to pay for.

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Ashley confirms staff fines for minute lateness 'not fair'

Mike Ashley has said a fine of 15-minutes' pay for every minute employees were late on a shift is "not fair".

He said the practice had changed but confirmed workers were still not paid for working past their allotted hours.

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Ashley: I can do a better job for my workers than unions

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has said it was hard to receive feedback from his workers - amid claims of mistreatment - as so few people would respond to questionnaires.

Mike Ashley warned against the involvement of the unions in dealing with workers and their rights.

"For whatever reason people don't fill them in," he said.

Mr Ashley said he could "see value" in making the surveys compulsory but said he could do "a better job than Unite" in issues with workers.

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills tweeted:

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Ashley admits Sports Direct paid below minimum wage

Mike Ashley confirmed the issue of bottlenecking delays at security as staff clocked in and out meant it had broken the law.

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills tweeted:


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Mike Ashley confirms shift bottlenecking cost workers

Mike Ashley has told MPs the company had been paying workers below the minimum wage on the "specific issue" of end-of-shift bottlenecks at security.

"The processes are now in place for that not to happen," he said, blaming the difficulties on the radical expansion of the company.

Mr Ashley earlier said his review into working practices at Sports Direct is underway but will never end.

"Some things have come as a bit of an unpleasant surprise," he said.

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Ashley admits Sports Direct warehouse problems

Mike Ashley, the boss of Sports Direct, admitted to problems with some working practices at the firm's Derbyshire warehouse.

Ashley arriving at Portcullis House, London. Credit: PA Wire

In a letter to the firm's 27,000 workers, Ashley said there had been issues with security and search processes - first reported by the Guardian.

But he vowed to defend the firm's reputation when he appears before MPs later, saying he has "nothing to hide".

He said it had been a "difficult year" for the company as he thanked employees for their "hard work" at a "challenging time".

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