Belfast Telegraph

Co-op delivery man 'underpaid by more than £14k'

An independent co-op has made a payout to a delivery man who was underpaid for four years by more than £14,000, it has been reported.

The claim was made by Rodney Sharpe, 64, a diabetes sufferer who uses a walking stick on his 21-mile newspaper round for Midcounties Co-op.

It could take him about four and a half hours to complete his round in Maidenhead, Berkshire. He estimates he took home around £3.15 an hour when the mandatory "national living wage" currently stands at £7.20 an hour, according to The Guardian.

Another payout of more than £4,000 in missing wages and expenses has gone to delivery worker Roger Lilley, 66, who claimed he took home 69p an hour on some days after deducting petrol and other car expenses while working for Midcounties, Britain's biggest independent co-op.

Midcounties Co-op chief executive Ben Reid told The Guardian: "The issue that Mr Sharpe and Mr Lilley raised with us was as a result of the way we previously structured this function of our retail operation and pre-dates our move to central payroll and hourly rates for delivery colleagues.

"We are grateful to Mr Sharpe and Mr Lilley for bringing this matter to our attention. After their case was escalated to our senior management team we thoroughly reviewed the employment and remuneration structure for newspaper delivery. All of our delivery colleagues were registered on our central payroll in 2015 and have been receiving hourly pay since January this year."

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which oversees the minimum wage, said: "Everyone entitled to the national minimum wage or national living wage should receive it - that is the law.

"We are clear that when employers do not comply with the law, they will be found out and punished, and we would encourage any worker who's concerned to contact Acas. Every complaint received is fully investigated by HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs)."