Politics

These firms minimize their minimal wage workers

According to research by HM Revenue and Customs in 2011, a total of 2.1 million

Government-nominated companies include retail giant John Lewis, who said it was “surprised and disappointed” to be on the list published by the Department of Commerce.

A spokesman for the John Lewis Partnership said: “This was a technical breach that happened four years ago, was fixed, and we made it public ourselves.

“The problem arose because the partnership smooths pay out so that variable pay partners get the same amount every month, which helps them budget.

“Our average minimum hourly wage has never been below the national minimum wage and is currently 15% above it.”

Other organizations mentioned and ashamed were Sheffield United, Oldham Athletic, Crewe, Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth, as well as The Body Shop, Worcestershire Cricket Club and Enterprise Rent A Car.

Almost half of the employers mentioned wrongly cut wages from workers’ wages, including for uniforms and expenses, while 30% did not pay workers for all working hours, for example when they worked overtime, and 19% paid the wrong training quota.

Economy Secretary Paul Scully said: “Our minimum wage laws are there to ensure that a fair day work receives a fair daily wage. It is unacceptable for a company to fall short. All employers, including those on this list, must pay workers appropriately.

“This government will remain vigilant in protecting workers’ rights, and employers who don’t get away with short-time workers lightly.”

Low Pay Commission Chairman Bryan Sanderson said, “These are very difficult times for all workers, especially those on low wages who often perform critical roles in a variety of key sectors including nursing.

“The minimum wage is a vital support and adherence to it is essential for the benefit of beneficiaries as well as our society as a whole.”

Since the current program was introduced in 2014, a total of 2,300 employers have been named.

Shadow Labor Rights and Protection Secretary Andy McDonald said: “The government is not doing nearly enough to crack down on companies that pay below the national minimum wage.

“Only six employers have been prosecuted for paying their employees less than the minimum wage in the past six years, despite more than 6,500 violations being identified.

“Laws to protect workers are not worth the paper they are written on if not enforced, but weak labor rights and a lack of enforcement measures make too many working people vulnerable to this exploitation.”

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