Failure to pay
Firms ‘named and shamed’ for breaching wage laws
On the list: Dunkeld House Hotel (pic: Terry Murden)
A Perthshire hotel, John Lewis Partnership and a holiday venue are among 191 companies “named and shamed” today by the UK government for failing to pay workers the national minimum wage.
Scottish companies in breach of the law include the Dunkeld House Hotel, Laggan Outdoor in the south of Scotland, and hair salons Rainbow Rooms International in Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire and Ayrshire.
Elsewhere, John Lewis Partnership failed to pay £941,355.67 to 19,392 workers, the Body Shop withheld £34,670.81 to 959 workers, while Bloomsbury Publishing, Pret A Manager and a number of professional football clubs – Sheffield United, Coventry City, Oldham Athletic, Charlton Athletic and Crewe Alexandra – are also on the list.
Following investigations by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, a total of £2.1 million was found to be owed to over 34,000 workers across the UK.
The breaches took place between 2011 and 2018. Named employers have since been made to pay back what they owed, and were fined an additional £3.2m.
A John Lewis Partnership spokesman said : “This was a technical breach that happened four years ago, has been fixed and which we ourselves made public at the time.”
The 22 Scotland-based employers named today underpaid workers in the following ways:
- Paying the incorrect apprenticeship rate
- Wrongly deducted pay from workers’ wages, including for uniform and expenses
- Failing to pay workers for all the time they had worked, such as when they worked overtime
A total of £31,000 was found to be owed to 209 workers in Scotland and firms have since been made to pay back what they owed. They were also fined £46,000.
Whilst not all minimum wage underpayments are intentional, it has always been the responsibility of all employers to abide by the law. Clear guidance is available on gov.uk, which all employers are advised to check.
Minimum wage breaches can occur when workers are being paid on or just above the minimum wage rate, and then have deductions from their pay for uniform or accommodation.
The UK Government recently gave millions a pay rise by increasing National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage ratesin April 2021.
The rise means someone working full time on the National Living Wage will be taking home £5,400 more annually than they were in 2010. Every single UK worker is entitled to the National Minimum Wage, no matter their age or profession.
Business Minister, Paul Scully, said: “Scottish employers can’t take their eye off the ball when it comes to upholding workers’ rights.
“There is never an excuse to short-change workers and paying the minimum wage isn’t optional.
“It’s up to all employers in Scotland, including those on this list, to check government guidance and pay workers properly.”
Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage have to pay back arrears of wages to the worker at current minimum wage rates.
They also face hefty financial penalties of up to 200% of arrears – capped at £20,000 per worker – which are paid to the government. Since 2015 the government has ordered employers to repay over £100 million to 1 million workers.
A significant number of the minimum wage breaches identified today affected those on apprenticeships. Today the Government has published new guidance to ensure employers know exactly what they need to do to pay their apprentices, and all workers, correctly.
Scottish companies named by the UK government:
- MacLeod Garages Ltd, trading as Kiwis Garage, Na h-Eileanan Siar, Outer Hebrides, failed to pay £3663.63 to 1 worker
- J Ren Ltd, trading as Mooboo, Glasgow, failed to pay £3114.73 to 24 workers
- Brittain & McMail Limited, trading as Rainbow Rooms International, Glasgow, failed to pay £2923.25 to 16 workers
- Hair By JFK Limited, Edinburgh, failed to pay £2609.3 to 2 workers
- Harbour Havens Limited, trading as Kildonan Hotel, North Ayrshire, failed to pay £2478.12 to 4 workers
- Pacson Limited, Dundee, failed to pay £1607.2 to 3 workers
- Borders Automobile Company Limited, trading as Border Motor Group, Scottish Borders, failed to pay £1429.12 to 7 workers
- Miss Emma Aitken, trading as Razor King, South Lanarkshire, failed to pay £1327.5 to 1 worker
- Dunkeld House Hotel, Perth and Kinross, failed to pay £1322.08 to 8 workers
- John Condona’s Pleasure Fairs Limited, trading as Condona’s Family Entertainment Centre, Aberdeen, failed to pay £1318.23 to 90 workers
- K McKeown Builders Ltd, Perth and Kinross, failed to pay £1317.94 to 2 workers
- Sparklers Private Nursery Ltd, Dumfries and Galloway, failed to pay £1177.08 to 21 workers
- Mr Riccardo Corvi, trading as Rainbow Room International Ayr, South Ayrshire, failed to pay £1119.32 to 3 workers
- Mr Sam Dewar, trading as SCD Joinery, North Ayrshire, failed to pay £886.53 to 1 worker
- Mrs Jennifer Riley and Mr Andrew Riley, trading as The Tyndrum Inn, Stirling, failed to pay £844.84 to 1 worker
- Nicola Jones, trading as Cosmetology (now under new ownership), Dundee, failed to pay £759.6 to 1 worker
- Mrs Janine McMahon, trading as Rainbow Room International, East Dunbartonshire, failed to pay £652.34 to 8 workers
- Fleeson & Robb Limited, trading as Rainbow Room International, Glasgow, failed to pay £597.7 to 5 workers
- Mrs Jennifer Campbell and Mr John Campbell, trading as Badden Farm Nursery, Argyll and Bute, failed to pay £569.72 to 1 worker
- Laggan Outdoor Limited, Dumfries and Galloway, failed to pay £526.68 to 6 workers
- Mr Robert Mitchell, trading as Sherlocks, Inverclyde, failed to pay £504.78 to 1 worker
- Mr Andrew Hay, trading as Beach Service Station, North Ayrshire, failed to pay £501.79 to 3 workers