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Monsoon publicly shamed by the government for underpaying staff


Monsoon has been named and shamed by the government for failing to pay over 1,400 workers the minimum wage. The fashion and accessories retailer is one of 115 companies spotlighted by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which administers implementation of the pay regulations.

In October 2013, the government began making it public knowledge exactly which companies weren’t complying with the rule of paying staff the minimum £6.70 an hour. Business Minister Nick Boles announced today that Monsoon owes 1,438 workers, over 25% of its UK store staff, a total of £104,507.83.

The retailer had no choice but to to reimburse staff and pay a fine of £28,147.81.

Because Monsoon required staff to wear Monsoon uniform on shifts (at a discount), the expense meant that technically, most employees were taking away less than the minimum wage. Monsoon has since started paying a clothing allowance and raised wages, the Guardian reported.

 “Monsoon Accessorize has recently been working with HMRC on a wide-ranging review of its payroll practices in relation to the national minimum wage,” said a company spokesperson. "This review has revealed a historic, unintentional breach of the regulations in respect of its staff discount policies for Monsoon clothing. Monsoon is pleased that this issue has been identified and has already taken prompt action to remedy it.”

“Employers that fail to pay the minimum wage hurt the living standards of the lowest-paid and their families,” said Boles.

Published on Friday 23 October by Veebs Sabharwal

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