Co Armagh firms ‘named and shamed’ for underpaying staff

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Three major employers in Co Armagh have been accused of underpaying 451 workers a total of more than £60k.

Government figures published today show that Portadown firm Moy Park was 10th on the list of employers ‘named and shamed’ across the UK for underpaying minimum wage staff. Moy Park failed to pay £33,547.57 to 338 workers.

Meanwhile 17th on the list was Carn-based firm Wilson’s Country Limited who failed to pay £24,560.53 to 63 workers.

And 61st on the list was Tayto Group Ltd who failed to pay £2,236.14 to 50 workers.

A Moy Park spokesperson said: “As soon as this isolated example of underpayment was identified we apologised to those affected and ensured reimbursement.

“As a responsible employer we have taken steps to ensure this issue cannot reoccur.

A Tayto spokesperson said: “We can confirm we were advised of a potential small inadvertent breach of the NMW regulations in late 2016. Since then we have been cooperating fully with HMRC auditors to identify what amounts of money were owed and to whom. HMRC informed us on 20th March 2017 that they had completed their audit, then advised us on what to do next and what amounts we needed to pay to the individuals concerned.

“We informed our staff and all monies due were paid by 4th April 2017. “

Angus Wilson of Wilsons Country Potatoes described the breach as ‘innocent and unintended’. He said it related to a technicality around uniform changing procedures for some members of staff.

He added the company had undertaken extensive research going back over six years and had since made full restitution (on average an amount of £1.19 per week) to the 66 staff concerned for the 6 year period.

“We value our people highly and would never knowingly underpay anyone, so whilst this was deeply unfortunate we are pleased to say it has now been fully resolved,” he concluded.