Sports Direct has agreed a deal to hand around £1m in back pay to thousands of workers for non-payment of the minimum wage, according to the Unite union. The agreement was struck between Sports Direct, HMRC and Unite and affects around 3,000 workers at the firm's main Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire, dating back to May 2012.

The payment also covers staff being subjected to searches at the end of a shift and could be worth up to £1,000 for some workers, the union said.

The move comes after Sports Direct founder and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley admitted to MPs in June that his company had subjected workers to searches at the end of their shifts, during which they were not paid for their time.

These searches often pushed staff pay below the minimum wage.

Workers were also docked 15 minutes' worth of pay for clocking in even 1 minute late for a shift but they were not overpaid should they stay late.

An investigation by the Guardian newspaper last year revealed what MPs called "Victorian practices" that saw staff harangued for not working fast enough and over time taken for toilet breaks.

Workers at the Shirebrook warehouse are employed either directly by Sports Direct or through one of two employment agencies, The Best Connection and Transline.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said the payout was a "significant victory" but warned the retailer still had much to do to modernise its working practices.

Turner said: "This is a significant victory in Unite's ongoing campaign to secure justice and dignity at work for workers at Sports Direct and demonstrates the importance of modern trade unions in Britain today."

But he added: "Mike Ashley and the Sports Direct board should be under no illusions. The charge of 'Victorian' work practices will continue to weigh heavily on Sports Direct until it moves long standing agency workers onto direct, permanent contracts and weans itself off its reliance upon zero hours contracts."

Sports Direct was unable to provide a comment, when approached by IBTimes UK.