Greggs, Currys and Easyjet shamed for failing to pay thousands of workers minimum wage

Greggs, Currys and Easyjet shamed for failing to pay thousands of workers minimum wage

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Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 21/02/2024

- 14:53

The Government has named more than 500 employers who have not paid the national minimum wage

Greggs, Currys and Easyjet are among the more than 500 companies which have failed to pay thousands of workers the minimum wage.

Yesterday, the Government named 524 employers for these breaches and ordered them repay over 172,000 workers nearly £16million, plus an additional financial penalty.

This comes as the National Living Wage, which is the legal amount for workers aged 23 or over, is set to rise by 9.8 per cent to £11.44 an hour on April 1.

Businesses cited in the list have since paid back what they owe to their staff and have also faced financial penalties of up to 200 per cent of their underpayment following investigations carried out by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) between 2015 and 2023.

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Greggs store, Currys store and Easyjet plane

More than 500 companies have been called out by the Government


Greggs was found to have not paid 4,783 employees an average of £45.72 they were due, including the cost of their uniforms.

Airline Easyjet underpaid 3,898 staff members at an average of £86.94 each, primarily due to cabin crew being paid less than allowed for their first three weeks of training between 2014 and 2019.

Furthermore, Currys was revealed to have failed to pay 4,109 of their workers an amount of £122,801.34 for an average amount of £29.89.

Kevin Hollinrake MP, the Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business said: “Employees deserve to get paid properly for the hard work they put in.

“While the majority of businesses already do the right thing and pay their staff what they are owed, today’s announcement sends a message to the minority who aren’t - that there are repercussions to undercutting hard work from their staff.”

Patricia Rice, the Independent Commissioner at the Low Pay Commission, added: “Since its introduction nearly twenty-five years ago, the national minimum wage has played a vital role in protecting the earnings of the lowest-paid workers in the UK.

“At a time when the cost of living is rising, it is more important than ever that these workers receive the pay to which they are entitled.”

An Easyjet spokesperson told GB News: "This was a genuine error which we immediately rectified and issued back payments to all affected crew.

A sign for HMRC

HMRC carried out an investigation of companies to see if they were paying the legal minimum


“While all crew in this period (2014-2019) were paid in line with the National Minimum Wage for their total annual salary, this review in 2018 identified a specific issue affecting our new entrant cabin crew only during their initial three week training course, as some payments only apply once crew are flying. easyJet is committed to treating its people fairly, paying competitively and complying with market practices.”

A Currys spokesperson said: “This historic issue dates back to pre 2018 and relates to a minor uniform technicality, which we have long since rectified.

“We pride ourselves on paying our colleagues well, in fact, we’ve raised colleague pay 37 per cent over the past five years, and continue to invest in this as a priority. We know our colleagues are our magic ingredient, and the reason people love to shop at Currys.”

A Greggs spokesperson said: "During a review with HMRC, it was brought to our attention that our uniform policy for retail colleagues was not aligned with HMRC's interpretation of national minimum wage regulations, and as a result, we revised our uniform policy in January 2018.

“Once the review was concluded, we reimbursed colleagues and former colleagues who had been impacted by this unintended error."

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