Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley acts over Sports Direct criticism

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has come under fire over the way his Sports Direct firm treats employees.
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has come under fire over the way his Sports Direct firm treats employees.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is to oversee a review of agency worker terms and conditions at his company, Sports Direct, after criticism of the retail giant’s pay and employment practices.

The firm’s pay and employment practices – including the use of zero hours contracts, under which staff don’t know how many hours they will work from one week to the next – and security arrangements have come under fire.

The Unite union has mounted a campaign against the company, holding demonstrations and briefing MPs in Parliament earlier this week.

Sports Direct defended itself against the criticism.

A statement said: “Sports Direct has sought to address questions relating to its employment practices on a case-by-case basis directly with the enquirer, but it has become evident that by doing so various parties have chosen to ignore the facts provided and have continued to present an unfair portrayal of the company’s employment practices.

“The board takes its responsibilities towards all the company’s stakeholders extremely seriously.”