Greggs among Newcastle businesses to not pay workers national minimum wage according to Government list

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The three companies are part of a list of over 500 businesses.

Three Newcastle companies, including a nationally known bakery, are among 500 businesses on a Government list who have not not paid their staff the national minimum wage in recent years.

Greggs is marked as one of the largest companies within the list of 524 UK registered companies as it failed to pay £219,129.07 to 4,793 workers.

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Only ten companies owed more money to their workers according to the list which was released on Tuesday, February 20.

The businesses named in the list have since paid back what they owe to their staff and have also faced financial penalties of up to 200% of their underpayment. The investigations by His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) concluded between 2015 and 2023.

A Greggs spokesperson said:  "During a review with HMRC, it was brought to our attention that our uniform policy for retail colleagues was not aligned with HMRC's interpretation of national minimum wage regulations, and as a result, we revised our uniform policy in January 2018.  Once the review was concluded, we reimbursed colleagues and former colleagues who had been impacted by this unintended error."

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Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business Kevin Hollinrake said: "Employees deserve to get paid properly for the hard work they put in.

"While the majority of businesses already do the right thing and pay their staff what they are owed, today’s announcement sends a message to the minority who aren’t - that there are repercussions to undercutting hard work from their staff."

Independent Commissioner at the Low Pay Commission, Patricia Rice, said: "Since its introduction nearly twenty-five years ago, the national minimum wage has played a vital role in protecting the earnings of the lowest-paid workers in the UK.  At a time when the cost-of-living is rising, it is more important than ever that these workers receive the pay to which they are entitled.

"NMW underpayment not only cheats workers of their rightful due, it leaves compliant firms undercut by those who do not abide by the law. By naming the firms responsible for significant underpayment, we raise awareness of the nature and the scale of underpayment and encourage all employers to ensure that they fully comply with the law."

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The other two Newcastle companies were Moji Limited which owed £1,264.14 to nine workers and Ohayo Patisserie Ltd which owed £739.19 to seven workers.

Both companies dissolved in 2020.

The current national minimum wage is £11.44 per hour for those aged 21 or over.

Workers aged 18-20 should be paid at least £8.60 per hour and this falls to £6.40 for those under 18.

The minimum wage for apprentices is also £6.40.

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