Nando’s has come under fire over reports which claim staff are cleaning its restaurants without pay.

Current and former Nando’s employees at multiple restaurants told the BBC they had to scrub cookers and disinfect toilets after being clocked out.

Nando’s said it was its policy to pay employees properly and it upholds the highest cleaning standards.

The company, which has more than 400 restaurants in the UK, said: “Cleaning is an integral part of restaurant work and is crucial to maintaining high standards of health and hygiene, which we take very seriously.”

Thousands of people have signed an online petition calling on Nando’s to review its cleaning and pay policies.

The BBC spoke to five current and former Nando’s staff who all requested anonymity.

They described closing shifts as ending when a manager signed off the restaurant as ready for the next day.

The system automatically clocks staff out unless managers override it, but that did not always happen, the workers claimed.

Staff complained that the extra hours spent cleaning were not added on to their payslips.

The BBC said it understands the company has “reinforced” its clocking-out policy to managers as a result of the petition.

Nando’s told the BBC: “We wholeheartedly refute the accusation that we would ask or expect our employees to do unpaid work.

“Without exception, our policy across all our restaurants is to pay all of our employees for all the work they do, and we take this incredibly seriously.

“If human error ever does occur, it is rectified without delay.”