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John Lewis staff could get payment windfall
9:40am Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
STAFF at Swindon’s John Lewis stores could be in line for an unexpected bonus as the company is set to hand out £40m in compensation.
The department store group will make one-off compensation payments to 69,000 of its employees who were inadvertently underpaid for working on Sundays and Bank Holidays during the past seven years.
The amount will vary depending on pay grade and shift pattern, with more than half receiving less than £120 while others will receive well over £1,000 each.
This is not the first cash bonus staff in Swindon have received this year. In March the stores at the McArthur Glen Outlet Village and the Mannington Retail Park, which opened its doors in October 2010 and employs approximately 150 members of staff, received 17 per cent bonus which equated to roughly nine weeks’ wages.
The company have not revealed how many Swindon staff have been affected by the underpaid work but have said it is highly probable that a number of them will be receiving compensation which averages out at £350.
John Lewis has said the error occurred because its pay calculations did not comply with employment laws.
“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,” said personnel head Tracey Killen.
According to Paula Whelan, employment law partner at Shakespeares, John Lewis is not alone in being caught out by the regulations, which she said needed to be simplified.
“Calculating holiday pay is already a difficult process, which has become more complicated in the last couple of years because case law is no longer consistent with the literal wording of the regulations,” she said.
“To aid employers and employees, the time has come to reconsider, amend and potentially simplify the regulations.”
The £40m cost of the redress includes national insurance and other expenses, as well as the actual payments received by staff at its department stores and Waitrose supermarkets.
It will not be deducted from the current year’s bonus pool, which is paid out each year to the staff.
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