Welham Green DHL M&S employees claim to be underpaid under furlough

PUBLISHED: 08:12 15 June 2020

DHL run the warehouse for M&S online. Picture: M&S/DHL.

DHL run the warehouse for M&S online. Picture: M&S/DHL.

Archant

Two workers at DHL Welham Green, which runs the M&S’ online clothing fulfilment centre, have said they have been underpaid while under furlough.

The employees, from the Welwyn Hatfield area, have been riddled with “anxiety” since their pay fell below the 80 per cent that workers are entitled to under furlough.

One female employee said she does not know how she will able to buy food or survive during this time.

And is worried that she could get ill – from lack of nutrition – when she does return to work.

The other employee has been left virtually penniless from DHL’s lack of payment.

The Welwyn Hatfield Times has received copies of the emails – from DHL’s payroll – and can confirm they are of a significantly lower amount then what the employees were paid previously.

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However, as the amounts would lead to both employees being identified. The WHT cannot disclose the full extent of the claimed under-payment, to protect the employees identities.

In the emails, DHL has offered explanations to both employees but neither of the furloughed workers believe that they are sufficient, considering that many workplaces have opted to pay 100 per cent of furlough pay.

The WHT has also encouraged both employees to make their own calculations using the government service – tax.service.gov.uk/job-retention-scheme-calculator – to make sure their underpayment is wrong.

This is not the first time DHL workers have got in touch with the WHT regarding what they see as unfair working practices by the distribution company at Welham Green.

But, as this newspaper understands it, problems with lack of hand sanitiser and social distancing have since been improved.

A spokeswoman for DHL said in April, when a staff member who had severe asthma was refused furlough: “We are willing to work with all our colleagues as far as is reasonably possible to find good solutions for everyone, but at the end of the day we need to continue working to support the increased online shopping volumes of UK consumers while they stay at home.”

Now, DHL has said: “While we cannot discuss individual cases, we have worked hard in recent weeks to resolve all pay-related queries, the majority of which have centred on the complex calculation of furlough payments. However, we would ask anyone with an outstanding pay query to come forward and we will make every effort to resolve their issues as soon as possible.”


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