Butlins and Haven Holidays owner to pay out for underpaid staff

Leisure Employment Services, which owns Butlins and and Haven Holidays, has been ordered to award up to £1m in back pay to former employees†by the Court of Appeal.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) took action against the company†over fortnightly†deductions of £6†from employees’ wages to cover utility bills for heat and light, which caused†salary levels†for staff living onsite to fall†below the national minimum wage.

Denise Gaston, national minimum wage business manager at HMRC, said: “Where we suspect employers are paying less than the minimum wage we investigate and where necessary pursue cases to Tribunal. This ruling is good news for all workers living in accommodation provided by their employer. It reinforces the fact that deductions for things like heating and lighting must not take workers’ pay below their legal entitlement.”

A Butlins spokesman, said: “Butlins will now trace all the live-in workers who were employed during the 2004 and 2005 holiday seasons to offer them full recompense.”

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) would not confirm whether the outcome would affect its new guidance on migrant labour but has said that it will discuss the judgement with HMRC and Defra.