£100m charity ‘named and shamed’ for not paying living wage

16 Feb 2017 News

Four charities, including £100m social care provider Community Integrated Care, have been criticised by the government for not paying the national living wage.

CIC was one of the ten worst offenders, having underpaid 69 staff more than £17,000.

Charities have today said that they have taken action to rectify the error and that they have paid back staff. 

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy yesterday published a list of 360 employers which have underpaid staff. In addition to Community Integrated Care, it includes three other charities: Crossroads Scotland, Paradise School Trust and Age UK Newcastle. 

BEIS routinely 'names and shames' those that have not paid the minimum wage, but these figures are the first to include those that have not paid the minimum living wage for employees who are over 25 years old. 

Charities have taken action

Community Integrated Care was the ninth worst offender and failed to pay £19,775 to 69 workers. The social care charity has an annual income of more than £100m and employs over 5,000 people. 

The charity said it has now resolved the problem. 

Andrew Sleigh, chief financial officer, said: “We are committed to being a fair and ethical employer. Until recently, there was not a clear legal position on paying staff providing domiciliary care for their time spent travelling to appointments – and indeed, the restricted funding from our local authorities in many cases did not support this. 

“When recent case law meant that travel time should be factored into people’s pay, we acted swiftly to resolve this. We took proactive steps to contact all affected employees and fully reimburse them for the amount that they were owed. 

“This is a matter that has affected many organisations in our sector and we would never intentionally undervalue our colleagues. We would like to offer our sincere apologies to all staff affected. This matter is now fully resolved to the satisfaction of HM Revenue and Customs.”

Crossroads Caring Scotland failed to pay £17,685 to 40 workers. In a statement the charity said it was also an oversight relating to travel time. 

It said: “The incident referred to occurred more than 16 months ago and was the results of an oversight relating to travel time. Forty of our more than 650 staff were affected.
“As soon as the breach was identified, we worked closely with HMRC to ensure that our workers received the full back pay that they were entitled to and also to ensure our compliance with this complex legislation in the future. 
“As a result, we have put in place processes to ensure that such a breach cannot occur again. All of our support workers are now paid the Scottish Living Wage of £8.25, which will increase to £8.45 in April.”

Age UK Newcastle underpaid one worker by £1,737 - also in connection to travel time.

It said: "Following a visit from HMRC in October 2014, Age UK Newcastle (previously Age Concern Newcastle) discovered an underpayment of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) to a member of staff relating to travel time. We took action to rectify the situation in January 2015 and a thorough review and correction of underpayment was undertaken."

The Paradise School Trust underpaid four workers by £3,856. In a statement the charity said: "It is with regret that due to an oversight, Paradise Primary School erroneously underpaid certain  junior staff who were classed as Apprentices when in actual fact they had completed their Apprenticeship.
"The staff concerned were reimbursed and measures have been put in place to avoid such future errors. 

"We would like to apologise to all concerned."



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