HMRC investigation uncovers Argos’s failure to pay their workers the national minimum wage.
Failure to pay the minimum wage, “naming and shaming” and imposing fines.
Argos has been ordered to pay £2.4 million to 37,000 former and current workers as the catalogue and online retailer, which was bought by Sainsbury’s last year, failed to pay their workers the national minimum wage. Argos had scheduled staff briefings before workers started their shifts and also insisted on carrying out staff security checks outside of working hours. HMRC has fined the company £1.5 million for this underpayment, however Argos have pledged to pay the fine within the discounted 14-day period, so this amount will decrease to £800,000.
Argos stated that they responded very quickly to the HMRC investigation’s findings, highlighting plans to raise wages for the lowest-paid Argos staff over the age of 25 to £7.66 an hour, while promising to give them a discount when purchasing store items.
The findings come in light of the attempts made by the government to “name and shame” companies who have failed in paying their workers the national minimum wage. Argos’s underpayment is higher than the underpayment by Debenhams and Sports Direct, who were both also fined last year.
The government attempts to name and shame employers who are not abiding by the minimum wage sends a clear message to employers that paying their workers at least the national minimum wage is vital and not doing so will neither go unnoticed nor unpunished.
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