Thousands of Next staff on £9.50-an-hour underpaid for five MONTHS

Thousands of Next staff on £9.50-an-hour have been underpaid for five MONTHS forcing them turn to food banks after payroll system glitch

  • Next has underpaid thousands of staff struggling with the cost of living crisis
  • The issue started after it moved to a new Oracle payment system in February
  • One worker was underpaid by more than £200, with some staff using food banks
  • Others are booking annual leave as they can’t afford fill their car for commute 

High street fashion retailer Next has underpaid thousands of staff, forcing them to turn to food banks amid the cost of living crisis, after a botched payroll system change.

The company, which has around 43,000 staff, has underpaid large numbers of employees after it moved to a new Oracle payment system in February.

Some staff pension contributions were also deducted and not invested in the retirement saving schemes, sparking anger among employees on internal messaging systems. 

As a result, some workers have turned to food banks and are unable to fill their cars with fuel — booking holiday as they cannot get into work.

In another instance, one employee was underpaid by more than £200, and was left irritated when head office staff and store managers enjoyed a party with live music, food and drink at Birmingham’s NEC last week.

High street fashion retailer Next has underpaid thousands of staff struggling with the cost of living crisis, after a botched payroll system change. File image

In a message sent on the retailer’s messaging system, they wrote: ‘This is now the second week my pay has been wrong and I have only been working here for one month.

‘Two weeks now I have been without my pay and at a time like this where the price of everything is only getting higher, the last thing I need is to not receive my money.’ 

‘Most of us haven’t been paid right since the change in system,’ an insider told The Sunday Times.

She said that her partner is working overtime to cover their living costs. 

Shop floor staff are paid around £9.50 an hour, with managers paid around £16.80.

The payroll issues have also caused some staff have been overpaid and then missing out on Universal Credit payments. 

Last year Next reported pre-tax profits of £823 million — the highest since the company launched in 1982. 

Next’s retail sales director Shonnagh Taylor recently told staff that the company was receiving up to 113 calls each day from employees over pay issues, the paper reported.

Some workers have turned to food banks and are unable to fill their cars with fuel — booking holiday as they cannot get into work. File image

It is understood this has now dropped to around 50 each day. 

A spokesperson for the high street chain told the newspaper that they have been tackling the payroll issues as a matter of urgency. 

‘This is one of the very few instances where Next has outsourced critical software and we have learnt some important lessons about integrating our in-house applications with third-party platforms,’ they said. 

‘We are acutely aware of the problems these payroll errors have caused some of our colleagues. We sincerely apologise to all those affected.’

They added that staff will not be impacted by issues with pension contributions. 

Next and Oracle have been contacted for further comment.  

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