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Wednesday 4th
posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

Yet the Star exposes how online retailer Asos lets its staff toil on poverty pay

THE boss of online retailer Asos is paid more than £1,000 an hour while his workers toil on poverty pay, the Star can reveal today.

Chief executive Nick Beighton will earn the yearly salary of his distribution centre staff in just the first two working days of 2017.

In June, the Star exposed how workers at Asos’s Yorkshire warehouse were forced to urinate in the water fountains because toilets were 15 minutes away and their breaks were too short.

Agency staff are also subjected to extensive body searches, for which the time taken was unpaid, and earn as little as £7.45 an hour.

But once Mr Beighton’s pay, a bonus calculated at 104 per cent of his salary, share award and pension are totted up — he is set to take home almost £3 million a year.

Even if he worked 12-hour days and took four weeks of holiday unpaid, his earnings would still work out at a whopping £1,022 an hour, which is a staggering 137 times the earnings his workers get.

GMB union revealed that it would take 214 years for the staff in the distribution centre in Grimethorpe, near Barnsley, to earn what Mr Beighton receives in one year.

GMB Yorkshire and North Derbyshire secretary Neil Derrick said Mr Beighton’s pay and benefits package “smacks of unfairness and double standards.

“Through his incentive scheme, Nick Beighton can more than treble his salary by meeting various targets his board set for him,” he blasted.

“Meanwhile workers in Barnsley are given targets so draconian they are making themselves physically and mentally ill trying to meet them, with absolutely no prospect of a bonus whatsoever.”

As well as pay, pensions and benefits of £1,199,520, Mr Beighton was awarded 36,194 shares in the financial year up to August 31 2016, bringing his annual package to £2,944,432.

The Asos warehouse in Grimethorpe was once at the heart of a thriving coalfield.

Now the clothing firm employs around half of the warehouse staff through employment agency Transline, which has also faced fierce criticism for its employment practices at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse, which has been likened to a Victorian workhouse.

Workers at Grimethorpe are employed through a “flexitime” system, under which workers are told each morning whether they have a shift via text message.

The High Pay Centre has branded today Fat Cat Wednesday — meaning that average chief executives’ earnings have already outstripped workers’ pay for the entire year in just 28 hours.

The think tank’s director Stefan Stern said: “By all means reward people for good performance, but do it in a way that is fair and can be enjoyed by all employees.

“Mega rewards just for the top are clearly divisive, unfair and bad for business.”