Sports Direct: Could Human Rights Have Helped? - RightsInfo

Sports Direct: Could Human Rights Have Helped?

Could human rights have helped Sports Direct workers?  Yes.  Read this post to find out why.

A government report published today is highly critical of Sports Direct, referring to appalling working conditions including serious breaches of health and safety law and the minimum wage law.  Read the full House of Commons report here.

Worker’s Rights

queen-cup-337695_1280There are laws in place that protect worker’s fundamental rights. We have posted an easy guide to these laws here.  Private companies do have a duty to comply with legislation that protects worker’s human rights.  Read this and this to find out how laws and guidelines help to promote worker’s human rights.

In May 2016, the Equality and Human Rights Commission published a guide to help company directors show leadership in ensuring their businesses respect human rights.  Read about it here.

It is now widely recognised that business needs to go much further in promoting and respecting human rights.  The government has an instrumental part to play in making sure this happens.

Guiding Principles

Five years ago, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.  The UK government has committed to promoting these Principles, which include ensuring that businesses RESPECT, PROTECT and REMEDY human rights violations. This commitment is not legally binding.  Read this to find out how far the government has come in delivering on its promise.

Where Now?

It is too late for those Sports Direct employees who suffered so badly, but the good news is that Mike Ashley is being held to account for these failures and to explain how he is going to improve working conditions for his workers.  The government is taking this issue seriously: an important government committee on human rights is taking evidence on business and human rights at the moment.  See an up-to-date report on their progress here

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Sports Direct image © Edward Hands used under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International licence.  Worker Bee image: Feet By The Fire image:


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About the Author

Katie Jukes

Site Editor
Katie Jukes is a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University in the Law department. She is a passionate believer in the protection of human rights and in communicating accurate, comprehensive information on human rights to the public. View all posts by Katie Jukes.
Sports Direct: Could Human Rights Have Helped?
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