Luton’s easyJet and Randstad Solutions named for not paying workers minimum wage

These were among over 500 companies featured on the government’s list
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Two businesses based in Luton have been named and shamed by the Government for not paying their workers the minimum wage.

Yesterday (February 20), Easyjet Airline Company Limited and Randstad Solutions Limited appeared on the list, along with 522 other companies.

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According to the Government list, easyJet failed to pay £338,876.46 to 3,898 workers, while Randstad had not paid £123,505.76 to 5,348 of its workers.

Bank notes on a table. Picture: Christopher Bill via UnsplashBank notes on a table. Picture: Christopher Bill via Unsplash
Bank notes on a table. Picture: Christopher Bill via Unsplash

An easyJet spokesperson said: “This was a genuine error which we immediately rectified and issued back payments to all affected crew. 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 spokesperson for Randstad UK & Ireland said: "In 2017, HMRC brought to our attention that the national minimum wage (NMW) rules around mandatory uniform and changing times had been unintentionally misinterpreted which, as is evident from the announcement this week, impacted a significant number of UK employers at that time, including Randstad.

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"When this situation was brought to our attention in 2017, our priority was to ensure workers were reimbursed within 14 days, which they were, and we updated our processes to ensure this issue did not happen again.

"Working closely with HMRC, we identified that time spent by workers changing into protective clothing had not been paid. This was limited to workers based on a small number of client sites, and unfortunately, this resulted in some workers' take-home pay falling below the NMW threshold.

"The average value of underpayment to the individuals was around £20."

This news comes as the National Living Wage is set to increase to £11.44 an hour on April 1. Greggs, Estee Lauder, River Island and Moss Bros were also mentioned in the Government’s list.

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Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, Kevin Hollinrake, 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.

“Whilst not all minimum wage underpayments are intentional, the Government has been clear that anyone entitled to be paid the minimum wage should receive it, and that enforcement action will be taken against employers who do not pay their staff correctly.”

Independent Commissioner at the Low Pay Commission, Patricia Rice, said: “NMW underpayment not only cheats workers of their rightful due, it leaves compliant firms undercut by those who do not abide by the law. By naming the firms responsible for significant underpayment, we raise awareness of the nature and the scale of underpayment and encourage all employers to ensure that they fully comply with the law.”

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