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Aberdeen MSP claims Asda workers are left using foodbanks and in financial distress following wave of staff wage errors

MSP Kevin Stewart claims Asda workers have been forced to use food banks following errors in staff pay. Photo by Rui Vieira/PA Wire.
MSP Kevin Stewart claims Asda workers have been forced to use food banks following errors in staff pay. Photo by Rui Vieira/PA Wire.

Asda is facing criticism from MSP Kevin Stewart who claims increases in staff wage errors are causing workers financial distress with some forced to rely on foodbanks to get by.

It has been reported that Asda employees are experiencing increasing difficulties in receiving accurate wages.

They are then being taxed over and above their usual rates when wages are being received causing further financial problems.

Aberdeen Central MSP, Kevin Stewart, has claimed this has resulted in many being in “great financial distress” and having to turn to foodbanks and pay day lenders to get by.

‘Poor show’ from Asda

Aberdeen Central SNP MSP Kevin Stewart. Picture by Kenny Elrick.

In a letter to Asda’s chairman, Lord Rose, Mr Stewart demanded urgent action is taken to ensure workers are not “left in the lurch”.

He noted in the letter that a third party HR department was being blamed for the issue. However, Mr Stewart said this is not good enough.

“Staff payments should be an absolute priority for any business so this is nowhere near good enough from Asda,” he said.

Retail workers put their neck on the line throughout the pandemic ensuring shelves were filled and families were fed so it is so disappointing to see staff left in the lurch like is being reported.

“I’ve written to Asda chiefs to ask that they get the finger out and ensure Asda staff are paid on time and in full – no ifs, no buts.

“Having worked at Asda for some years, I know they have a vital role to play in our communities, but this is a poor show and blaming an external HR department doesn’t cut it.”

‘We are sorry’

Asda apologised for the distress caused to workers affected and has said action is being taken.

An Asda spokesman said: “It is imperative that our colleagues are paid the right amount, on time, and we are sorry that an error with our payroll partner has resulted in a small number of colleagues receiving incorrect pay.

Asda has said they have taken action to address the issue. Photo by Steve Brown / DCT Media.

“As soon as we were aware of the issue we took action to address it and have measures in place to ensure no one is left out of pocket.

“We are working closely with our payroll partner to ensure this doesn’t happen again and are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused to our people.”

Mr Stewart also reported the increase in wage errors coincided with a change in ownership.

However, it is understood the errors are not linked to the takeover and there will be significant investment aimed at transforming the HR and payroll systems.

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