Responding to the allegations made against JD Sports by the Channel 4 investigation into working practices at their Rochdale warehouse, Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, said:

“The allegations made in the undercover report are very serious, and it is right that JD Sports have announced an investigation into the factory in question. Any organisation that operates illegal work practices should face the consequences, but they should also recognise the need to re-examine their management practices and corporate culture.

“The programme highlighted a massive trust deficit between the employer and employees. Trust should be at the heart of any healthy and productive working culture. Running an organisation based on surveillance and suspicion will never help to build engaged, healthy and inclusive workplaces that deliver both organisational goals and also support the mental and physical well-being of workforces. All organisations need to look at how they can put people at the heart of what they do, and enable them to feel empowered to do their job, rather than working in a culture of fear where the slightest error could lead to unfair disciplinary action.”

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At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.