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John Lewis ‘angered’ over Gov’s ‘named and shamed’ wage list

The government released a list of 191 firms that were publicly named for breaking the national minimum wage law, with the department store being amongst the top of the list

The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) is reportedly angered over being included on the government’s “named and shamed” list for flouting minimum wage rules by The Department for Business (BEIS).

According to Sky News, JLP has been included on the list for an already disclosed issue relating back to 2017 which it said that it has “already acted in the best interests” of its workers to resolve.

It comes as the government has released a list of 191 firms that were publicly named for breaking the national minimum wage law, with the department store being amongst the top of the list.

The companies which also made the cut included Pret A Manger, One Stop Stores Limited, The Body Shop International and The Sheffield United Football Club Limited.

In total, following an investigation, it was found that £2.1m was to be owed to over 34,000 workers.

The breaches reportedly took place between 2011 and 2018, with the subsequent named employers having since been made to pay back what they owed, and were fined an additional £3.2m.

A John Lewis Partnership spokesperson said: “We’re surprised and disappointed that BEIS has chosen to report this today. This was a technical breach that happened four years ago, has been fixed and which we ourselves made public at the time.

“The issue arose because the partnership smooths pay so that partners with variable pay get the same amount each month, helping them to budget. Our average minimum hourly pay has never been below the national minimum wage and is currently 15% above it.”

Paul Scully, business minister, added: “Our minimum wage laws are there to ensure a fair day’s work gets a fair day’s pay – it is unacceptable for any company to come up short.

“All employers, including those on this list, need to pay workers properly. This government will continue to protect workers’ rights vigilantly, and employers that short-change workers won’t get off lightly.”

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