Jo Stevens MP

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Call for a debate on exploitative work practices and the failure of national minimum wage

On 10th December 2015 I called on Leader of the House of Commons Chris Grayling to have a debate in Government time on exploitative work practices and the failure of national minimum wage enforcement.

This was prompted by a recent exposé by the Guardian on the exploitative work practices in Sports Direct. Warehouse staff at the group, which is controlled by Britain's 22nd richest man, are required to go through searches at the end of each shift, for which their time is unpaid, while they also suffer harsh deductions from their wage packets for clocking in for a shift just one minute late.

The treatment of its workers and this culture of fear that Sports Direct has created for its employees is absolutely unacceptable and something that must be investigated and stopped.

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My full question was:

"Many members would have seen a report in today's Guardian about the exploitative work practices in Sports Direct which include paying less than National Minimum wage and daily body searches of employees down to the outside of their underwear. Can we have a debate please in Government time on exploitative work practices and on the failure of national minimum wage enforcement?"

Mr Grayling's response was:

"First of all it is illegal to pay less than the minimum wage so that is for a matter of something that should be bought to the relevant authorities’ attention. What I would say to her is that the Secretary of State will be here on Tuesday for questions and this may be something she would like to address with him."

Following Mr Grayling’s response, I will be attending questions on Tuesday to raise this issue to the Secretary. Toxic work environments like this in Britain must be investigated and stopped.

You can watch the exchange here:

The Guardian article mentioned in my question can be read here:

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/dec/09/how-sports-direct-effectively-pays-below-minimum-wage-pay

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