Sports Direct appears to have hammered yet another nail in the coffin of its employee relations following reports that the firm has taken over five months to tell its 30,000 staff that their personal data has been exposed in a major hack attack on its systems.
According to a company insider, Sports Direct’s internal systems detected the breach in September. However, it was not until December that the company learned of the data breach – which exposed staff home addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers – despite claims that the hackers had left a message on the internal site.
In fact, staff have only just found out this week after the initial story – exposed by The Register – was picked up by the national media.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has confirmed it is investigating the issue.
Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner told The Register: “It’s completely unacceptable that the workers affected appear not to have been informed and the data breach swept under the carpet.”
The move is the latest in a string of scandals regarding Sports Direct’s alleged mistreatment of employees.
An undercover probe by The Guardian discovered that the company had been effectively paying workers below the minimum wage; the investigation led to the firm being forced to pay back over £1m to employees.
And last year, a Parliamentary inquiry into working practices at Sports Direct stated that its “size and success is founded on a business model that enables the majority of workers…to be treated without dignity or respect”.
Sports Direct released a statement which said: “We cannot comment on operational matters in relation to cyber-security for obvious reasons. However, it is our policy to continually upgrade and improve our systems, and where appropriate we keep the relevant authorities informed.”
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