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.

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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.

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