The John Lewis Partnership, owner of department store chain John Lewis and supermarket chain Waitrose, is facing a £40 million bill for back pay and other costs.

After a recent review, the group discovered that staff who receive additions to pay, such as premiums for working on Sunday’s or bank holidays, had not been paid correctly under the Working Time Regulations legislation.

As a result, John Lewis Partnership is set to make one-off additional payments to the members of staff affected. This means around 69,000 out of its 85,500 workforce will receive one-off payments this month reflecting the amounts owed to them since 2006. Individual payments vary according to pay and shift patterns, with more than half of the recipients receiving under £120.

Tracey Killen, director of personnel, says, “As soon as we established that we were not implementing the Working Time Regulations correctly, we worked quickly to make the repayments to our partners in a way that is both fair and responsible.”