Easyjet, Estee Lauder and Greggs fail to pay national minimum wage

national minimum wage EasyjetEstee Lauder Cosmetics, airline Easyjet and food chain Greggs are among more than 500 employers which failed to pay their lowest-paid employees the national minimum wage.

An investigation by His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) between 2015 and 2023 found that breaches by 524 employers caused more than 172,000 employees to not receive their full entitlement. These employers were ordered to repay the workers nearly £16 million, plus an additional financial penalty of up to 200% of their underpayment.

Estee Lauder Cosmetics failed to pay £894,980.43 to 5,933 of its employees, Easyjet did not pay £338,876.46 to 3,898 of its workers, and Greggs failed to pay £219,129.07 to 4,793 of its staff.

Other named employers include: Staffline Recruitment, Rank Group Gaming Division, Mitchells and Butlers, Moss Bros Group, and SA Brain and Company.

The government has also published an educational bulletin to increase awareness of national minimum wage legislation and inform employers about how to ensure they pay correctly.

Kevin Hollinrake, minister for enterprise, markets and small business, said: “While the majority of businesses already do the right thing and pay their staff what they are owed, the announcement sends a message to the minority who aren’t, that there are repercussions to undercutting hard work from their staff. While not all minimum wage underpayments are intentional, the government has been clear that anyone entitled to be paid the minimum wage should receive it, and that enforcement action will be taken against employers which do not pay their staff correctly.”

Patricia Rice, independent commissioner at the Low Pay Commission, added: “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. National minimum wage underpayment not only cheats workers of their rightful due, it leaves compliant firms undercut by those which 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.”