Sodexo were paying thousands of full-time employees a salary of £11,918.40 a year, but because they used the wrong pay formula, workers were finding themselves £41.03 a year short of the NMW, which currently stands at £11,959.43.
Now, since GMB highlighted the error to Sodexo, the contract caterer has announced it will implement a new £10m payroll system that will function across its entire portfolio, and reimburse staff in their next paycheck.
In a statement, Sodexo said: “Since GMB and Sodexo first investigated the issue two months ago, Sodexo has been actively working to identify the monthly paid workers who are on the national minimum wage. Sodexo is continuing to work with the GMB to ensure that its members' queries are addressed via the appropriate channels.”
Andy Prendergast, regional officer for GMB, said he was impressed at the ‘mature and considered’ manner in which Sodexo dealt with the error.
Sodexo have committed to talks with ourselves in order to resolve the issue on behalf of our members,” he said. “Obviously we will be seeking full compensation for all staff affected and will be looking forward to developing a relationship with the company which ensures that future issues can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.”
The hourly NMW for workers aged 22 or over currently stands at £5.73, but is set to rise on 1 October to £5.80 when the loophole enabling businesses to top up wages to NMW will be outlawed.