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Next apologies to staffs after payroll error

Jeremy Lim
19 July 2022

Next has apologised to staff over months of salary underpayment caused by a decision to outsource its payroll functions to the US technology company Oracle.

The problems surfaced in February and have affected workers paid both weekly and monthly, according to The Sunday Times. Employees have been underpaid by as much as £200 a month while staff pension contributions have been deducted without investment into retirement pots.

The payroll blunder has also led to some of the retailer's 43,000-strong workforce being overpaid in certain instances, resulting in some workers losing access to universal credit amid the cost-of-living crisis.

The FTSE 100 company reportedly pays some store staff £9.36 an hour, below the Living Wage Foundation’s recommended £9.90 an hour rate outside London and £11.05 inside the capital.

Next declined to say how many of its workers were affected, but a spokesman said the number had reduced from the peak, and said: "We expect to continue to make significant progress in the weeks ahead. Over the last few months we have experienced a number of issues with our new payroll system and have been tackling them 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.

"We are acutely aware of the problems these payroll errors have caused some of our colleagues. We sincerely apologise to all those affected and assure them that we are resolving these problems as a priority."

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