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Home Bargains brought to task for underpaying workers

Home Bargains store 725 x 500

Discount retailer, Home Bargains, is to be forced to pay staff an average of £40.37 each in backpay, having been found by the government to have been paying less than the national living wage.

In total, parent company TJ Morris failed to pay £430,097.87 to 10,256 workers, and may also have to pay fines of up to £20,000 per worker as a result of the findings.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy yesterday revealed that 239 employers were found to have underpaid 22,400 UK workers by a total of £1.44m.  

Home Bargains was second on the list behind Card Factory, which failed to pay £430,097.87 to 10,256 workers with average arrears of £41.94 per worker.

Wyevale Garden Centres Holdings Limited, trading as Wyevale Garden Centres, also made the list, having failed to pay two of its workers a total of £14,296.58.

Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage have to pay back arrears of wages to the worker at current minimum wage rates and face financial penalties of up to 200% of arrears, capped at £20,000 per worker.

The earliest underpayment dated back to 2011, with the most recent happening this year (2018).

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said:

“Our priority is making sure workers know their rights and are getting the pay they worked hard for. Employers who don’t do the right thing face fines as well as being hit with the bill for backpay.

“The UK’s lowest paid workers have had the fastest wage growth in 20 years thanks to the introduction of the National Living Wage and today’s list serves as a reminder to all employers to check they are getting their workers’ pay right."

The top 5 reasons for National Minimum and Living Wage underpayments in this round were:

- taking deductions from wages for costs such as uniforms
- underpaying apprentices
- failing to pay travel time
- misusing the accommodation offset
- using the wrong time periods for calculating pay

Source : Insight DIY Team and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

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10 July 2018

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