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M&S ‘named and shamed’ over minimum wage failures
21 June 2023

Marks & Spencer is among firms who have been “named and shamed” by the Government for breaking the minimum wage law.

Almost £5 million was found to be owed to around 63,000 workers following investigations by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs dating back as far as 2017.

Named employers have been made to pay back what they owed, and in addition were fined around £7 million.

Kevin Hollinrake, Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, said: “Paying the legal minimum wage is non-negotiable and all businesses, whatever their size, should know better than to short-change hard-working staff.

“Most businesses do the right thing and look after their employees, but we’re sending a clear message to the minority who ignore the law: pay your staff properly or you’ll face the consequences.”

Bryan Sanderson, Chairman of the Low Pay Commission, added: “Regular naming rounds should be a useful tool in raising awareness of underpayment and helping to protect minimum wage workers.”

The Government reported that Marks & Spencer failed to pay £578,390 to 5,363 workers.

In response, an M&S spokesman said: “Like many other organisations, M&S is only named in the list because of an unintentional technical issue from over four years ago.

“This happened simply because temporary colleagues were not paid within the strict time periods specified in the national minimum wage regulations and was remedied as soon as we became aware of the issue.

“Our minimum hourly pay has never been below the national minimum wage, it is currently above it and no colleagues were ever underpaid because of this.”

Lloyds Pharmacy were another employer at fault, reporting that it failed to pay £903,307 to 7,9116 workers.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s-owned retailer Argos was named for failing to pay £480,093 to over 10,000 workers.

A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “Back in 2018, a payroll error was identified which affected some Argos store colleagues and drivers and dated back to 2012, before Sainsbury’s acquisition of Argos.

“We launched an immediate investigation, working alongside HMRC, and put this right at the time.

“Since then we have completed the integration of Argos onto Sainsbury’s systems which will prevent this from happening again.”

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