John Lewis is among the many corporations “named and shamed” in a government list of employers discovered to be paying employees below the legal minimum wage.
The employee-owned partnership was one of 191 corporations together with care houses, childcare providers and farms which had been fined for owing a complete of £2.1m to greater than 34,000 employees, as half of the government’s bid to indicate that it’s cracking down on the abuse of employees.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy mentioned the breaches befell between 2011 and 2018, and the employers have since been made to pay again what they owed. They had been fined an additional £3.2m, to indicate that “is never acceptable to underpay workers”.
The business minister, Paul Scully, mentioned it was “unacceptable for any company to come up short” on the government’s minimum wage legal guidelines which had been put in place “to ensure a fair day’s work gets a fair day’s pay”.
“All employers, including those on this list, need to pay workers properly,” he added. “This government will continue to protect workers’ rights vigilantly, and employers that short-changed workers won’t get off lightly.”
A spokesperson for the John Lewis Partnership mentioned it was shocked and disenchanted that the government had chosen to report this right this moment after the pay breach “happened four years ago, has been fixed and which we ourselves made public at the time”.
“The issue arose because the partnership smooths pay so that partners with variable pay get the same amount each month, helping them to budget. Our average minimum hourly pay has never been below the national minimum wage and is currently 15% above it,” the spokesperson added.
The government detailed a quantity of methods in which breaches can happen, together with when employees are paid the minimum wage rate or barely larger after which have deductions from their pay for uniforms or lodging.
Of the employers named in the government’s list nearly 50% wrongly deducted pay from employees’ wages, together with for uniforms and bills, and nearly a 3rd didn’t pay employees for on a regular basis they’d labored, equivalent to once they labored additional time. Almost a fifth of employers paid the inaccurate apprenticeship rate, the government mentioned.
Bryan Sanderson, the chair of the Low Pay Commission, mentioned: “These are very difficult times for all workers, particularly those on low pay who are often undertaking critical tasks in a variety of key sectors including care. The minimum wage provides a crucial level of support and compliance is essential for the benefit of both the recipients and our society as a whole.”