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Coronavirus: Sports Direct “struggling” to enforce Covid-19 rules

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Sports Direct Mike Ashley Frasers Group coronavirus pandemic covid-19
Sports Direct attempts to fend off criticism over treatment of its warehouse workers during the pandemic

// Sports Direct is “struggling” to enforce Covid-19 rules
// The company was criticised for putting warehouse staff at risk during pandemic
// It has since defended itself to recruitment agencies that provide staff to its Derbyshire depot

Sports Direct has reportedly said it is finding it a challenge to enforce Covid-19 rules amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The sports goods retailer has lashed out at temporary recruitment agencies that provide thousands of staff to its Derbyshire depot, in a bid to defend itself for how it safeguarded warehouse workers’ health during the outbreak, The Guardian reported.

The company was thought to have accepted wrongdoing in regards to disobeying Covid-19 safety standards inside the facility as it said it was reviewing the contracts of the agencies.


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The news comes after the retailer was criticised for potentially risking workers’ health by keeping warehouses open during the lockdown so that online operations could continue running.

However, the decision over whether to keep the warehouse open is down to Sports Direct, not the recruitment agencies.

The company, owned by Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, said its main concern has always been the welfare of its staff.

It maintained that it has strictly followed government/WHO guidelines and is continually advising its workforce so these new rules are enforced.

However, in some cases, it has “struggled to enforce that they adhere to government/WHO regulations” and is currently reviewing its contracts as a result.

On Thursday, Boris Johnson warned Frasers Group chief executive Ashley to “expect the consequences” if he does not stick to the lockdown rules regarding his employees.

The government had said employees can continue working in non-essential industries if social distancing can be safely practised.

However, Ashley recently embroiled the company in controversy after hiking prices of sports equipment by more than 50 per cent and deciding to keep stores open despite being non-essential – a decision he recently took a u-turn on.

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