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Clarks and Waterstones among companies that don’t pay minimum wages

Popular retailers like Clarks and Waterstones were forced to pay employees back wages they owed (Image: Getty/PA)

Waterstones, Clarks and House of Fraser have been exposed as some employers swapped out 12,000 workers in a short period of time as ‘wage theft’.

More than 200 companies have been named and shamed for not paying minimum wages to employees, pocketing £1.2 million, according to the Department for Business (BEIS).

Claudia Webbe, MP for Leicester East, revealed that four people in her constituency have been embroiled in the scandal.

In a statement on Twitter, she said: ‘Billionaires really exist because of working-class exploitation.

‘Minimum wage is already wages for the poor. Workers can no longer accept starving wages, deplorable conditions and unscrupulous bosses. ‘

BEIS, which closed its investigation from 2014 to 2019, confirms that all 208 companies have since taken steps to pay back what they owe to their already lowest workers. .

Clarks cut 106 people for £4,811 which the company describes as a ‘small error’ (Image: Getty)
A Frasers Group spokesman argued the breaches were ‘historic’ and related to the activities of former company House of Fraser (Image: Shutterstock)
Waterstones was also named one of the offenders after deducting £8,689 from 58 staff (Image: PA)

Labor Markets Minister Paul Scully also urged companies to stop “ scrooges’, adding: ‘We want workers to know that we are on their side and that they must be supported by their employers. fair treatment, which is why businesses must pay a non-negotiable legal minimum wage.

‘208 businesses today, regardless of their size, should know better than to make short changes to hard-working employees, whether it’s intentional or not.

‘With Christmas fast approaching, it is more important than ever that cash is not stashed in workers’ pockets.’

House of Fraser was identified as one of the biggest offenders when it failed to pay £16,235 to 354 workers.

A spokesman for Frasers Group – the new owner of the department stores – stressed that the breaches were ‘historic’ and related to the activities of the old House of Fraser company.

It added: ‘It should be made clear that Frasers Group plc only purchased the House of Fraser property out of management (saving countless jobs) in August 2018.

‘This took place long after the date on which these breaches are believed to have occurred. However, by acquiring those assets, the claims are said to have passed on to the new business owners. ‘

Many companies owe their employees tens of thousands of dong, perhaps because they are not being paid the wages they are entitled to or because their wages are deducted from things like uniforms.

Nearly a third of employees are underpaid for required training, trial shifts or travel time, and 16% are underpaid for apprentices.

According to BEIS, Clarks cut 106 people with £4,811 and the Waterstones kept £8,689 from 58 staff.

A spokesman for the shoe maker told Metro.co.uk it was a ‘small error’ in the way wages are calculated.

The Waterstones chief executive, James Daunt, also called it a ‘technical’ breach.

Hampshire County Council has also been publicly called out for failing to meet its obligations to 24 staff and failing to pay £1,543 – although a spokesman for the agency insisted it was not complacent.

They said: ‘The issues raised to us by HMRC following its audit in 2018/19, which spanned a six-year period, involved a small number of staff directly employed by the schools. under a short-term contract of less than one year.

‘After investigation, we believe these are real, isolated, local administrative errors affecting the pay of a very small number of individuals.’

Contact our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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https://metro.co.uk/2021/12/10/clarks-and-waterstones-among-companies-not-paying-staff-minimum-wage-15749678/ Clarks and Waterstones among companies that don't pay minimum wages

Huynh Nguyen

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