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LloydsPharmacy named second-biggest offender after HMRC minimum wage inquiry


LloydsPharmacy named second-biggest offender after HMRC minimum wage inquiry

LloydsPharmacy has been named the second-biggest offender on a Government list of businesses that failed to meet their minimum wage obligations.

The ‘name and shame’ list of 202 businesses – topped by WH Smith – shows that the multiple had at one point been £903,307.47 in arrears after failing to pay the legally mandated minimum wage to its lowest-paid employees. This affected 7,916 employees between May 2013 and April 2018, with the average arrears per worker amounting to £114.11.

Underpayment took place due to deductions from payslips (39 per cent of cases), failing to pa for all hours worked (39 per cent) and paying the incorrect apprenticeship rate (21 per cent). All businesses named in the report have paid staff the money due to them on top of financial penalties since a HMRC investigation concluded between 2017 and 2019.

“Whilst not all minimum wage underpayments are intentional, there is no excuse for underpaying workers,” a Government spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for LloydsPharmacy told Pharmacy Network News: “LloydsPharmacy can confirm that this unintentional underpayment relates to an investigation by HMRC that was concluded in 2019, when it was part of McKesson UK.  It was brought about by HMRC’s rules around company uniforms.”

“As soon as LloydsPharmacy was made aware of it we acted quickly to notify the affected colleagues and re-imburse them. We also updated our uniform policy to ensure it did not recur.”

“LloydsPharmacy can confirm all our employees are paid above the national minimum wage and would like to take this opportunity to reassure them of our commitment to fair and equitable pay.”

Tanna Pharmacy in north west London is named on the list in 128th position after it was found it had been £1,815.13 in arrears with regard to one employee’s minimum wage payments over a nine-month period.

Dudley Taylor Pharmacy in the West Midlands – which was bought ln 2021 by Avicenna – is named in 148th position, having been bound to be £1,276.45 in arrears with regard to 174 employees over a seven-month period, amounting to average arrears of £7.34 per affected employee.

Bryan Sanderson of the Low Pay Commission, an independent advisory body to the Government, commented: “The minimum wage acts as a guarantee to ensure all workers without exception receive a decent minimum standard of pay. Where employers break the law, they not only do a disservice to their staff but also undermine fair competition between businesses.

“Regular naming rounds should be a useful tool in raising awareness of underpayment and helping to protect minimum wage workers.”

In April, the UK national living wage rose by 9.7 per cent to £10.42 per hour for those aged 23 and over, with the London living wage set at £11.95 an hour.

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