Arabic AR Chinese (Simplified) ZH-CN English EN French FR German DE Japanese JA Portuguese PT Russian RU Spanish ES Ukrainian UK

Primark and Sports Direct named for underpaying staff

Latest news

    shoppers at PrimarkImage copyright Getty Images
    Image caption Primark had to repay £231,973.12 mainly due to charging staff for uniforms

    Primark and Sports Direct have had to pay thousands of pounds back to staff for paying them below the minimum wage.

    The retailers had to repay the most of 260 firms named on the government’s list for paying their staff below the legal minimum.

    Primark had to repay £231,973.12 mainly due to charging staff for uniforms.

    Sports Direct, and two staff agencies it used, had to pay back a total of £1.1m to their workers. All firms said the issues were now rectified.

    ‘150,000’ UK workers to get pay rise

    Sports Direct pay-row agency fine upheld

    A spokesperson for Primark, which is owned by Associated British Foods, said its uniform policy changed last year and that it “had reviewed its procedures in order to avoid this situation re-occurring.”

    They said the average amount paid to the almost 10,000 staff affected was £23.75.

    Image copyright PA
    Image caption Sports Direct, led by Mike Ashley, said the underpayment was due to “a historical situation”

    Sports Direct – together with the two agencies, Transline and Best Connection which it used to supply its staff – underpaid more than 4,000 staff in total.

    The retailer said the underpayment related to a “historical situation in our warehouse that was widely publicised in 2016”.

    An investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) last year found that some workers at the retailer’s main distribution centre in Shirebrook, Derbyshire had been docked a quarter of an hour’s pay if they clocked on one minute late.

    They also had to queue for an average of 11 minutes for security checks after their shifts had finished.

    This meant that some workers’ pay fell below the minimum wage, or the National Living Wage for those aged over 25.

    A number of football clubs were also named on the government’s list including Bristol Rovers; Wolves and Torquay in England and Motherwell; Greenock Morton and Falkirk in Scotland.

    Motherwell said the underpayment was due to “an administrative error” by the club.

    Overall, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) said 16,000 workers had not received at least the minimum wage in its latest list, which it publishes twice a year.

    It said this was the highest number of employees affected since it first published the list in 2013.

    Collectively the workers are due £1.7m in back pay.

    The firms named on the list have also been fined a total of £1.3m by the government.

    The most common reasons for firms underpaying staff were failing to pay workers when they were travelling between jobs, not paying overtime and deducting money from staff pay for uniforms.

    Image copyright Getty Images

    The five firms having to repay the most:

    1. The Best Connection Group Limited, Bromsgrove B61, failed to pay £469,273.83 to 2,558 workers.

    2. Qualitycourse Limited trading as Transline Group, Calderdale HD6, failed to pay £310,302.12 to 1,421 workers.

    3. Primark Stores Limited, Reading RG1, failed to pay £231,973.12 to 9,735 workers.

    4. Sports Direct.com Retail Limited, Bolsover NG20, failed to pay £167,036.24 to 383 workers.

    5. Edward Mackay Contractor Ltd, Highland KW9, failed to pay £51,403.65 to four workers.


    Business minister Margo James said “there is no excuse for not paying staff the wages they’re entitled to”.

    Despite the government’s apparent success in cracking down on pay, it is thought that hundreds of thousands of workers are still not getting their legal entitlement.

    In October last year the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the number of people whose pay was below the headline rate of the National Minimum Wage was 362,000.

    However that number includes workers whose pay levels are perfectly legal. For example, those who have accommodation or other benefits supplied as part of the job.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42271522

    TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said minimum wage dodging had “reached chronic levels in shops, salons and hospitality” and urged the government to focus on these sectors.

    In the same category are

    Gavin Grimm trans bathroom lawsuit backed by federal judge Image copyright Reuters Image caption Gavin Grimm filed a lawsuit after his high school prevented him from using the men's bathroom A US judge has...
    Is the UK the world’s biggest exporter of legal cannabis? Image copyright PA Image caption Alfie Dingley's family has paid for treatment in the Netherlands As the UK hosts a summit on the state of medical...
    Archbishop Philip Wilson to step down after sex abuse cover-up Image copyright EPA Image caption Philip Wilson was found guilty of concealing child sexual abuse A Catholic archbishop in Australia convicted of ...
    Trump may extend UK visit to play golf in Scotland Image copyright Getty Images US president Donald Trump may extend his visit to the UK in July in order to play golf in Scotland. The property magnat...
    London Ambulance Service taken out of special measures Image copyright LAS Image caption Inspectors said the trust was "inadequate" in 2015 London Ambulance Service (LAS) has been taken out of special ...
    Can English remain the ‘world’s favourite’ language? Image copyright Getty Images English is spoken by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, but do the development of translation technology and "hy...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *