Tesco and Pizza Hut ‘ashamed’ for not paying UK minimum wage

A total of 139 businesses did not pay £ 6.7 million ($ 9.1 million) to thousands of employees, the government said on Thursday. The cases were investigated between 2016 and 2018.

The current minimum wage in the UK is £ 8.72 ($ 11.91) for workers aged 25 and over.

Tesco (TSCDF), which has more than 3,700 stores in the UK and Ireland and nearly 7,000 stores worldwide, was by far the worst offender. According to the list, the retailer did not pay the minimum wage to 78,199 employees, who owe them more than £ 5 million ($ 6.8 million).

The supermarket chain said it was “extremely disappointed and surprised to be included in this list,” and said it had identified the failure to pay the minimum wage in 2017 and notified the government at the time.

“In 2017, we identified a technical issue which meant that the payment of some colleagues accidentally fell below the national minimum wage. We are very sorry that this happened and proactively reported the issue,” Tesco said in a statement told CNN Business.

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“All our colleagues were fully reimbursed and we immediately changed our policy to prevent this from happening again. In most cases, the refund was £ 10 or less,” he said.

Pizza Hut has been identified as not paying nearly £ 846,000 to 10,980 workers. CNN Business contacted the fast food chain for comment.

Superdrug, one of Britain’s largest pharmacy companies, was also included in the list and is accused of not paying 2222 workers more than £ 15,000 ($ 20,475).

Superdrug said in a statement to CNN Business that the bug occurred in 2018. ‘Once notified, we quickly compensated current employees and leavers with HMRC. [Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs] to ensure that they are fully compensated, ‘Superdrug said, adding that its policy has changed since then.

“The payment of the minimum wage is not optional, it is the law,” Paul Scully, Britain’s secretary of state, said in a statement. “It is never acceptable for any employer to short-circuit their workers, but it is especially disappointing to see big household names on this list.”