JD Sports to launch investigation after damning Channel 4 news report

JD Sports is to launch an investigation following allegations made in Channel 4 news report that working conditions at its Kingsway distribution centre were ‘worse than a prison’.
The company said they were ‘disappointed and concerned’ by the broadcast by Channel 4 on Wednesday night, adding that it was not ‘an accurate reflection of our culture’.
However, JD Sports Fashion Plc is launching an investigation into the Rochdale site.
The report stated that a ‘three strikes and your out’ policy for minor infringements was in place at the site and that workers could be sacked on the spot.
Strikes, the report said, could be issued for sitting down on a long shift, chewing gum or having a mobile phone.
It also alleged that workers were not paid for queuing to get into work or going through security checks when they left at the end of a shift and could therefore be earning less than the minimum wage.
The company said: “We categorically do not operate a ‘strike’ policy or system and our workers cannot be fired ‘on the spot’; we have a fully outlined disciplinary procedure and appeal process based on the ACAS code of practice.
“Our time and attendance system is specifically designed to ensure that all workers are paid for the time it takes to exit any queue on leaving the site, and we pay all employees in full who are up to 15 minutes late on arrival.
“Our employees are vital to our business, so we take any such allegations very seriously. As a result, we will undertake to conduct a review of all our policies, their communication and implementation at the site, with the clear aim not only to continue the improvement of the facility, but also to think about the future structure of employment at the site for the benefit of all the people employed at Kingsway.  We undertake to be transparent regarding the changes we make, both to our employees and other stakeholders.
“We will readily open our doors to an appropriate independent body wishing to scrutinise our operations at Kingsway.”
Over 1,000 people are employed at the Kingsway warehouse, which operates seven days a week and 24 hours a day.
The workers are made up of employees of the company and agency staff from Assist Recruitment.
Kingsway supplies all JD Sports stores in the UK and most abroad, while also taking care of online orders.

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