Payroll Errors Prove Costly For John Lewis

A payroll discrepancy discovered by John Lewis dating back to 2006 will cost the company around £40 million, with thousands of employees mistakenly underpaid for Sunday or bank holiday shifts.

Speaking in an official press release on the 22nd August, a spokesperson commented:

Around 69,000 current Partners will receive an additional one-off payment this month reflecting the amounts due to them back dated to 2006. Individual payments will vary according to pay and shift patterns, with more than half of the recipients receiving under £120.


While this statement shows that many of the payments were fairly low amounts, it is understood that the reimbursement received by others will exceed £1,000.

Later in the statement it was confirmed that the company had made thorough changes to its payroll systems to ensure that a mistake of this nature would not happen again, with the total increase in wage costs put at 0.5 per cent. Employees are also set to benefit from an extra £7 million of funding to pension schemes.

In addition to employees at the 39 John Lewis stores around the United Kingdom, these pay issues also impacted on staff at the 295 Waitrose stores operated across the country.

Contact Portfolio Payroll

John Lewis is by no means the first company to suffer from payroll problems of this type, and it is essential that payroll recruitment is taken seriously to protect the financial future of your business. Whether by hire a payroll manager or recruiting a payroll assistant to assist with the more difficult tasks, there are numerous ways that situations such as this can be prevented.

Portfolio Payroll is the expert when it comes to payroll recruitment, and remains the only payroll agency recommended by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP). To ensure that your company does not suffer any similar payroll issues get in touch with our team by calling 020 7247 9455, or emailing

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