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Tesco tops list of firms who failed to pay staff the minimum wage

Tesco tops list of firms who failed to pay staff the minimum wage

Tesco has been named and shamed by the Government for underpaying 78,199 workers by more than £5million.The supermarket chain, the UK's largest privat

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Tesco has been named and shamed by the Government for underpaying 78,199 workers by more than £5million.

The supermarket chain, the UK’s largest private sector employer with around 300,000 staff, topped a list of firms who failed to pay workers the minimum wage.

The list was published today as former Tesco boss Dave Lewis, in charge when the error was discovered in 2017, was knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours for his services to the food industry.

Shamed: Tesco, whose former boss Dave Lewis (pictured) was knighted in the Queen's New Year Honours, has been named and shamed for underpaying 78,199 workers by more than £5m

Shamed: Tesco, whose former boss Dave Lewis (pictured) was knighted in the Queen's New Year Honours, has been named and shamed for underpaying 78,199 workers by more than £5m

Shamed: Tesco, whose former boss Dave Lewis (pictured) was knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours, has been named and shamed for underpaying 78,199 workers by more than £5m

Companies including Pizza Hut, Superdrug and yoghurt-maker Muller also featured on the minimum wage blacklist, published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Business Minister Paul Scully said: ‘It is never acceptable for any employer to short-change workers, but it is especially disappointing to see huge household names who absolutely should know better on this list. 

This should serve as a wake-up call and a reminder to everyone of the importance of paying workers what they are legally entitled to.’

Employers who break the rules must pay what they owe, plus up to 200 per cent of that amount in a fine. BEIS did not reveal whether any of the firms had paid a penalty. 

The blacklist was compiled from probes between 2016 and 2018. Tesco wages to 78,199 workers fell short by £5.1million, because some staff were not paid for routines before or after their shift.

It said: ‘We are very sorry this happened and proactively reported the issue to HMRC at the time. We immediately changed our policies to prevent this happening again.’ 

Its error came hot on the heels of it having to pay 140,000 workers an additional £9.7million in 2017 when their wages fell below the national minimum, due to payroll system errors.

Superdrug and Pizza Hut forced staff to buy their own uniform, which dragged their income below the minimum wage. 

Pizza Hut, failed to pay £845,936 to 10,980 workers, and Superdrug failed to pay £15,229 to 2,222 employees. In total, 139 companies failed to pay £6.7million to over 95,000 workers.

Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, said: ‘Too many bad bosses get away with it. The rogues don’t fear the inspector’s knock at the door. 

‘They probably think, with justification, that they have more chance of winning the lottery than being caught.’

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This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk

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