John Lewis ‘inadvertently’ breaks pay rules, puts £36m aside for staff

The metro reports that John lewis have put aside £36 million to mitigate their underpaying of staff over the last six years.


Thousands of workers, at both John Lewis and Waitrose, will benefit from the pay-out after the company announced it had “inadvertently” broken minimum wage rules. John Lewis were quick to stress that they had never paid staff below the legal minimum wage and the mistake had occurred due to retailer’s practise of averaging pay out to a consistent number each month.


A John Lewis statement read: “This arrangement was implemented to support partners with a steady and reliable monthly income, but we now believe this arrangement may not meet the strict timing requirements for calculating compliance with the national minimum wage regulations.”


Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, explained that the employer expects to pay staff back as quickly as possible. However, he added that “it is likely these discussions will take some time to be completed”. The company added that, aside from the under-payment error, it pays staff more than 20% above the National Living Wage on average.


Last month, it increased staff pay by 2.7% to £8.90 an hour although it slashed the employee’s bonus to six per cent of their annual salary. Mayfield’s received a salary of £1.4 million for 2016/17, down from £1.5million in 2015/16. The remuneration that John Lewis’ offer its executives, in stark contrast to the pay packet blunder that affected lesser-paid staff, will re-ignite debate over C-suite pay.



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