Top Companies Fined for Underpaying Workers Below Minimum Wage

Top Companies Fined for Underpaying Workers Below Minimum Wage
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Greggs, Harrods, and Staffline are among more than 500 businesses named by the Department for Business and Trade for failing to pay some of their employees the statutory minimum wage.

Greggs, Harrods, and Staffline are among more than 500 businesses named by the Department for Business and Trade for failing to pay some of their employees the statutory minimum wage.

This revelation comes as the government releases a list of employers who collectively repaid over £16 million to nearly 172,000 workers, alongside additional penalties, for breaching minimum wage regulations.

Staffline, a prominent recruitment agency, topped the list for failing to correctly pay 36,767 workers, resulting in owed wages totaling £5.13 million. The company attributed these breaches to historical errors, dating from 2013 to 2018, which were resolved with HMRC’s satisfaction in 2020.

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Estée Lauder, the multinational cosmetics giant, acknowledged failing to pay £894,980 to almost 6,000 workers, citing misinterpretations of HM Revenue & Customs guidance regarding staff purchases and clothing requirements.

Caroline Harwood, an employer tax partner at BDO, noted the prevalence of well-known names on HMRC’s list, cautioning that many instances may have been inadvertent errors rather than deliberate breaches.

EasyJet disclosed underpaying 3,898 staff during training between 2014 and 2019, attributing the oversight to a genuine error which was promptly rectified.

Harrods and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, were also cited for underpaying workers, with Harrods attributing its error to an administrative mistake from seven years ago, promptly rectified upon discovery.

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Other businesses implicated include Stonegate Group, Mitchells & Butlers, and BAE Systems Digital Intelligence. Greggs acknowledged its error as unintended and reimbursed affected employees.

The compilation of this list by HM Revenue & Customs spans breaches between 2015 and 2023. While the government asserts that the businesses have repaid owed amounts to their staff, this revelation underscores the importance of adherence to minimum wage regulations and the repercussions for non-compliance.

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Top Companies Fined for Underpaying Workers Below Minimum Wage

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