Agency at Heinz denies pay claims

The Heinz factory in Wigan
The Heinz factory in Wigan

An agency providing employees to one of Wigan’s biggest firms has denied allegations by a whistleblower that staff are not being paid in full.

Allegations have been made that employees at the Heinz Wincanton distribution centre on the books of PMP Recruitment Agency have not been paid for holidays and arrangements where the company shells out if it cannot find a set number of hours for its workers reneged on.

PMP has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

However, it is not the first time this year that the agency has been in the spotlight over workers at the Kitt Green food processing site.

The latest whistleblower said: “Some workers are on what is called a seven-and-a-half hour contract. They have to find at least that amount of work or pay for the time. They haven’t done that.

“That is resulting in people going into debt because they can’t pay their rent or bills.

“One person didn’t get two days of holiday pay and another worker put in for four days and went without a penny.

“For the first person that was the second time they’ve put in for holidays and not been paid for them. The problem with the day not being paid if they don’t get any work is also the third time the wages haven’t been right.

“PMP said they would come to see them but didn’t. They’re not even bothering with the staff on the file.”

PMP acknowledged there has not been as much work at Heinz for agency staff recently but strongly rejected any suggestion people were not found employment or that wages or holiday money were not being paid.

A spokesperson for the agency said: “Due to a recent change in our client’s requirements there has been a reduction in the number of temporary staff we have been required to supply at the site.

“Where we have been unable to provide work we have offered alternative shifts at nearby sites for at least the minimum 7.5 hours in line with our contracts of employment. We will continue to do all we can to give our people the hours they need.

“Any worker that requested holiday in line with our holiday booking procedure will have had their leave request approved and holiday paid.”

PMP hit the headlines back in April when another whistleblower said employees were regularly not receiving the correct wages and those on zero-hours contracts were being turned away when they arrived as they were not needed.

PMP described those accusations as “unfounded”.