Sports Direct & Primark named and shamed for underpaying staff

Sports Direct is a FTSE 250 company majority-owned and run by Mike Ashley

Sports Direct is a FTSE 250 company majority-owned and run by Mike Ashley

Sports Direct International PLC and Associated British Foods PLC's Primark have been named and shamed by the United Kingdom government for failing to pay the minimum wage after identifying 260 companies that had to refund GBP1.7 million to thousands of workers, the Telegraph reported Friday.

The other well known retail brand to pay up was Primark, which was fingered for more than £230,000 owed to more than 9,700 workers.

The businesses were ordered to distribute £1.7 million in back...

"We are committed to treating all our people with dignity and respect, and we pay above the national minimum wage".

This list names 260 employers which failed to pay a record 16,000 workers a combined total of £1.7m. "It has also reviewed its procedures in order to avoid this situation re-occurring".

The sportswear retailer had been criticised for the working conditions at its Shirebrook warehouse previous year.

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Business minister Margot James said: 'There is no excuse for not paying staff the wages they're entitled to and the Government will come down hard on businesses that break the rules.

Some of the reasons revealed by the government for payment errors included failing to pay workers travelling between jobs, deducting money from pay uniforms and failing to pay for overtime work.

Bryan Sanderson, Chairman of the Low Pay Commissions, said: "The risk of being named is encouraging businesses to focus on compliance".

He also added that although targeting large employers who have cheated a great number of workers is fundamental, he is happy to see that HM Revenue and Customs still targets cases where few workers have been involved and those who are at risk of the most serious exploitation.

"It is imperative that the government keeps up the pressure on all employers who commit breaches of minimum wage law".

Since 2013, the scheme has identified £8 million in back pay for 58,000 workers, with 1500 employers fined a total of £5 million. A spokesperson for Bedruthan said it paid hourly pay rates above the national minimum wage for all employees, regardless of age, and its underpayment related to live-in employees asking for services such as meals eaten at the hotel to be deducted automatically from their wages. Minimum wage rates will rise again in April 2018, giving younger workers in particular the biggest pay boost in a decade.

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