Staffline begins inquiry over concerns about invoicing and payroll | Business

Recruitment and training firm Staffline has launched an internal investigation after concerns were raised over “invoicing and payroll practices” within its recruitment division.

The firm, which supplies staff to major UK companies including Tesco and Marks & Spencer, said in a stock market announcement that the issues were brought to the board’s attention on Wednesday morning, and confirmed that it was delaying the planned publication of its full-year earnings as a result.

A spokesperson for the company said an internal investigation had been launched in conjunction with the auditors, PwC.

“The company can confirm that this morning concerns were brought to the attention of the board relating to invoicing and payroll practices within the recruitment division,” Staffline said in a statement. “Given the nature of the allegations, the preliminary results will not be published until the matters have been fully investigated.

“The board is confident that its policies in relation to these matters are appropriate, particularly given that these practices have been the subject of prior audits.

“However, if the allegations are substantiated this could have a material impact on the group and its profitability and until further investigation has been undertaken the Board cannot assess the potential materiality,” the company added.

Staffline’s AIM-listed shares fell 32% before being suspended in the late afternoon.

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This month Staffline issued a statement saying it expected its annual results for 2018 to be in line with expectations, with revenue 18% higher than the £958m reported in 2017. The full-year results had been due to be published on Wednesday.

The company, founded in Nottingham in 1986, states on its website that it operates at more than 350 sites in the UK and Ireland, finding work for more than 50,000 people a day. Clients include retail chains Tesco, M&S, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, and logistics firm DHL.

This month the company announced that it had won a government contract to provide education and training in 22 prisons worth £104m over four years.

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