Will the Sports Direct ruling affect your business?

After a highly publicised committee meeting, Sports Direct is finding itself facing a multi million-pound bill in fines and back-pay after failing to pay its employees minimum wage, and subsequently, failing to abide by the law.

After the minimum wage admission from Sports Direct founder, Mike Ashley – which is a result of not paying staff for security checks after their shifts finish, as well as pay deductions for late starts – the business has found itself at the centre of a HMRC investigation and a media frenzy.

Could this have implications for you?


In admitting to workers being underpaid because they were forced to wait in line for security checks after clocking out, Sports Direct has accepted that security checks, and by implication, other activities such as changing clothes etc. should be within paid time.

This could have implications for a huge number of companies should the Government decide to rule in favour of the HMRC, which expresses that any business in breach of employment legislation will be forced to pay arrears, as well as fined up to 200% of said arrears.

Ultimately, businesses that do not allow employees to clock-in until they are ‘fully ready’ to work may find themselves in the same boat as Sports Direct.

How Time and Attendance can help

Essentially, a flexible and centralised workforce management solution is a necessity.

Regardless of your contracts, terms and conditions or working processes, a flexible and scalable solution will give you the ability to record and analyse all employee movement, and as a result, enable you to efficiently adapt any time and attendance procedures as you see necessary.

A robust system will allow for the analysis of overall productivity and ultimately, ensure compliance for your business.

  • Are you easily able to record whether staff are clocking in/out at the correct time?
  • If a change of clothes is involved prior to a shift start, are staff taking a long time to do so?
  • How long do your security checks take? When do you conduct these?

Utilising a Time and Attendance solution, you can monitor and record the answers to these questions to form a comprehensive overview of employee visibility and efficiency. From here, powerful reporting tools can enable you to make an accurate analysis and identify best working practices for your employees and the business as a whole.

Furthermore, the correct software will provide a fully integrated and centralised solution, enabling senior management and system users to manage data from a consistent database. This will lead to improved absence management, as well as eliminate any payroll errors, ensuring all employees are accurately paid for hours worked.

If you’re concerned about Time and Attendance procedures in light of the Sports Direct case, or would like to discuss how we can help, contact us on 01793 715475, or email us at info@capitawfm.co.uk