EasyJet blames ‘genuine error’ for underpaying staff

EasyJet underpaid cabin crew
By Linsey McNeill
21/02/2024
Home » EasyJet blames ‘genuine error’ for underpaying staff

EasyJet was one of 524 companies found not to have paid some staff the national minimum wage during an eight-year investigation by HMRC.

The airline owed thousands of cabin crew a total of more than £338,000 – which amounted to an average of £86.94 each, according to the Government.

EasyJet, which was eighth worst on the HMRC list of offenders, admitted it had underpaid 3,898 new cabin crew during their first three weeks, when they were training.

A review, started by HMRC in 2018, found underpayments occurred during a five-year period from 2014 and 2019, according to the airline.

“This was a genuine error which we immediately rectified and issued back payments to all affected crew,” the airline said in a statement.

“While all crew in this period (2014-2019) were paid in line with the National Minimum Wage for their total annual salary, this review [by HMRC] in 2018 identified a specific issue affecting our new entrant cabin crew only during their initial three-week training course, as some payments only apply once crew are flying.

“EasyJet is committed to treating its people fairly, paying competitively and complying with market practices.”

The minimum wage is currently £8.60 an hour for 18 to 20-year-olds, while staff aged 21 and over must be paid the national living wage, which is £11.44 an hour.

The Government confirmed that all the firms on the list have since paid what they owe to staff and they have been slapped with fines of up 200% of the amount owed.

The investigations by HMRC took place between 2015 and 2023.

Other travel businesses on the list include Radisson Hotel Manchester, which owed £15,000 to 689 staff, and Center Parcs Newark, which owed £5,000 to nine staff.

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