Asda employees ‘skipping meals’ due to monthly payroll errors

Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

Some of the Asda employees are having to skip household bill payments, take out loans, and even use food banks to get through the month due to regular payroll errors that have seen some underpaid by £500 or more, stated a report today (15).

The local press has highlighted the issue, including a recent one in the Falkirk Herald that claimed staff working in the town’s superstore were using food banks and payday lenders because of inaccuracies in their pay. After these reports, the private equity-backed company admitted to members of the Scottish parliament recently that its external payroll firm had made nearly 11,000 errors in recent months, affecting the wages of 5, 500 staff.

Supermarket staff told the GMB union they were getting increasingly desperate as monthly payments could be short by anything from under £100 to over £500, The Guardian reported.

The errors had left staff “dreading” rather than looking forward to payday, telling the union they were skipping meals, visiting food banks and taking out loans when their wages were short. 

“Paying staff for the work they do is an utterly basic responsibility of employers,” The Guardian quoted Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer, of the company which was bought by petrol station billionaires Mohsin and Zuber Issa and TDR Capital last year.

“Asda knows it is a massive issue, but sadly isn’t doing enough to put this right – they refuse to invest the money needed in the payroll operation to sort this out.

“The stories we have heard from our members are heartbreaking,” added Houghton. “During a cost-of-living crisis, low-paid workers must be able to rely on a level of decency from their employer that ensures they are paid for the work they do.”