Workers at John Lewis and Waitrose who were underpaid for working Sundays and Bank Holidays over the past seven years will be paid £40m in compensation.
The John Lewis Partnership said staff were inadvertently mis-paid because its pay calculations didn’t comply correctly with employment laws. The group said 69,000 employees were affected and will all receive one-off payments averaging at £580.
The business said individual payments would vary according to pay and shift patterns, with more than half of recipients being given less than £120, but some receiving a few thousand pounds. Most of those affected work on shop floors, call centres or in distribution warehouses.
The partnership will also add £7m to future pension liabilities.
Head of personnel Tracey Killen said: “As soon as we established that we were not implementing the Working Time Regulations correctly, we worked quickly to make the repayments to our partners in a way that is both fair and responsible.”
The John Lewis Partnership operates 39 John Lewis stores across the UK as well as 295 Waitrose shops and has annual gross sales of more than £9.5 billion.
Even big companies can make mistakes. To help you understand employment law for your small business, Rocket Lawyer UK have Quick Guides to most aspects of employing staff and offer essential documents, including changing employment terms and opting out of the working time directive on our business page.