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Underpaying cleaning firm ordered to pay driver £3k

Underpaying cleaning firm ordered to pay driver £3k

Friday 18 November 2022

Underpaying cleaning firm ordered to pay driver £3k

Friday 18 November 2022


A cleaning company which was “erratic” in paying its driver, and failed to pay the minimum wage for many months, has been ordered to pay back the nearly £3,200 it owes him.

Raymond Hitchmough was a driver for Many Hands from April 2019. Though he never had a contract of employment, he was paid a weekly salary of £250 for his roughly 30 hours’ work each week.

This worked out as £8.33 per hour, which, from 1 January 2022, was below the minimum wage of £9.22.

When he was forced to take time off in late 2021 following an operation on his foot, his employer failed to pay the full short-term incapacity allowance – something he believed was because Many Hands had not paid the necessary Social Security contributions deducted from his wages.

As he hadn't received any payslips during his employment, he was unable to tell what was deducted from his wages and why. Instead, payments were made straight into his bank account on an "ad hoc basis".

By the end of the year, payments made to Mr Hitchmough became "more erratic" and there were "significant shortfalls", the Tribunal heard. Between 17 December and 2021 and 22 April 2022, he should have been paid nearly £5,200 – but received just £2,253.

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Pictured: The Employment and Discrimination Tribunal heard the case last week.

He stopped working for Many Hands in April, and emailed them in June to say that he no longer wished to be employed – but no one replied.

In September, he filed a claim for his unpaid wages – which included his first ever week of work, and underpaid wages.

Following a hearing last week at which Many Hands did not appear, the Tribunal ruled in Mr Hitchmough's favour. However, they were forced to turn down his claim for compensation for lack of pay slips as it was out of time.

Many Hands was ordered to pay a total of £3,166.89.

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