12 October 2015

Shirebrook (Mansfield Station Road) Jobcentre and Sports Direct

Readers may remember my post a few months ago about how this Jobcentre had a much higher sanction rate than any other in the country. The DWP explained: "The main reason for the high proportion of sanctions recorded in Shirebrook is the high number of locally advertised, suitable job vacancies which are not applied for.'' Put another way, there are loads of jobs in the area but the local claimants can't be bothered to apply for them and are rightly sanctioned.

I said at the time that it might be true and I've come across a possibly related related story. 

This other story concerns "Sports Direct" whose largest depot is less than a mile from this Jobcentre. It is alleged in the Daily Telegraph (!) that they are bad employers:

"Or what about the allegations of sharp work practices at Sports Direct’s biggest depot in Shirebrook, near Mansfield?

In April, a Channel 4 Dispatches investigation claimed to have exposed some shocking working conditions.

Among the policies the programme claimed to have uncovered included the public shaming, through tannoy announcements, of employees who bosses think are not working hard enough, and a "six strikes" rule where someone can be sacked for committing too many minor infringements.

The list of a 36 potential "strikes" included talking, spending too long in the lavatory, taking time off sick and even failing to have a clipboard and pen on hand at all times, Dispatches claimed.

Workers told the documentary that they live in fear of being fired at any moment and that security is so tight they are frisked at the end of every shift"

So it might be that the reason people are refusing to apply for "the high number of locally advertised, suitable job vacancies" lies in the reputation of this employer.

DISCLAIMER: This is speculation. I could be entirely wrong linking these issues - but I might not be. Further work is needed to get to the truth. This FOI request may help resolve the issue