Sports Direct to appoint workers representative to its board
Sports Direct has revealed that it has begun a process for electing a workers' representative to attend its board meetings.
The sportswear retailer said the application process will be open to all “directly-engaged” workers within the group, subject to qualifying conditions.
In a letter to staff, Sports Direct chief executive Mike Ashley said: "I have always believed Sports Direct to be a business that was built by the great people who work here. I therefore believe it is important that your voice is heard at the highest level in order to continue to make a positive difference. I look forward with immense pride to sitting alongside the UK's first elected workers' representative at future board meetings of Sports Direct International plc."
Sports Direct will undertake an assessment process to select successful candidates. They will then be invited to stand in an election in which around 23,000 staff will be entitled to vote.
Appointments will be for 12 month periods with an election conducted each year. In the first year, the representative will be chosen from the company's retail division and the following year from those working in warehousing or at Sports Direct’s head office. The cycle will then be repeated.
The elected workers' representative will attend and speak at all scheduled board meetings but will not become a director of the company.
A spokesman for Sports Direct said: "Having explored all options we believe this is the best way to ensure the Workers' Representative is free to champion the interests of all staff. We see this as a major step forward in bringing about positive change."
Sports Direct expects the first board meeting attended by the workers' representative to be held this spring.
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