Tesco named and shamed for underpaying 78,000 workers

Tesco national minimum wage equal pay
Last month, the government increased national living wage and national minimum wage rates from April 2021
// Tesco has topped a list of firms who have failed to pay workers the minimum wage
// The grocer is the UK’s largest private sector employer with around 300,000 staff
// The blacklist was compiled from probes between 2016 and 2018

Tesco has been named and shamed by the government after topping a list of firms who have failed to pay workers the minimum wage.

The grocer, which is the UK’s largest private sector employer with around 300,000 staff, has been underpaying 78,199 workers by more than £5 million.

The list was published on Wednesday as former Tesco chief executive 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.


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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.

Tesco responded by apologising and said it has “proactively reported the issue to HMRC” and “changed policies to prevent this happening again”.

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

Meanwhile, Superdrug has been exposed for having forced its staff to buy their own uniform, which dragged their income below the minimum wage.

The retailer failed to pay £15,229 to 2222 employees. In total, 139 companies failed to pay £6.7 million to over 95,000 workers.

Last month, the government increased national living wage and national minimum wage rates from April 2021.

Every worker is entitled to the national minimum wage, which will be increased by between 1.5 per cent and two per cent depending on age bracket, while for workers aged 23 and above, the national living wage will increase 2.2 per cent to £8.91 an hour.

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