Pay shortfall

Firms named for breaching minimum wage rate

Crowne Plaza: among those named by the government

Two Scottish hotels, a high street footwear retailer and five childcare businesses are among 208 employers across the UK named and shamed by the UK Government for failing to pay their lowest paid staff the minimum wage.

They range from multinational businesses and large high street names to SMEs and sole traders. Together they left 12,000 workers £1.2 million out of pocket.

They include House of Fraser and Waterstones as well as Greencore – which makes sandwiches for retailers such as M&S – and outsourcing giant Mitie whose work includes managing COVID-19 test centres.

Nineteen are based in Scotland and include the Crowne Plaza & Holiday Inn Express at Aberdeen Airport, Crerar Hotel Group and shoe chain Schuh.

These businesses have since had to pay back what they owe to staff and also face significant financial penalties of up to 200% of what was owed, which are paid to the UK Government. The investigations by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs concluded between 2014 and 2019.

Minister for Labour Markets Paul Scully said: “We want workers to know that we’re on their side and they must be treated fairly by their employers, which is why paying the legal minimum wage should be non-negotiable for businesses.”

“Today’s 208 businesses, whatever their size, should know better than to short-change hard-working employees, regardless of whether it was intentional or not.

“With Christmas fast approaching, it’s more important than ever that cash is not withheld from the pockets of workers. So don’t be a scrooge – pay your staff properly.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord, said: “The National Minimum Wage applies across the whole of the UK to make sure employees are paid fairly for hard work.

“Although not all minimum wage underpayments are deliberate, there’s no excuse for failing to uphold workers’ rights. I’m glad Scotland’s short-changed employees have now been paid back what they were owed.”

The employers named today underpaid workers in a number of ways, including 37% who deducted money from wages to pay for expenses such as work uniforms, 16% failing to pay the correct rate to apprentices and 11% not increasing pay in line with government rises, or paying the wrong minimum wage rate, e.g. paying a 23 year old the 21-22 year old rate.

The department said that whilst not all minimum wage underpayments are intentional, there is no excuse for underpaying workers.

Clear guidance for employers on pay is available on gov.uk., and today the government has published additional advice about breaches and the steps employers should take to make sure they pay their workers correctly.

Bryan Sanderson chairman of the Low Pay Commission, said: “The minimum wage is a success story welcomed by employees and employers alike, but it only works if everyone without exception obeys the law.

“We hope this latest naming round can continue to raise awareness of the most common mistakes businesses make and help protect low-paid workers from unfair treatment.”

Scottish companies on the list:

Ewart Aberdeen Properties Limited (previously Dominvs Project Company Limited), trading as Crowne Plaza & Holiday Inn Express Aberdeen Airport, failed to pay £23,868.72 to 76 workers.

Du Beau Styling Limited, West Lothian, failed to pay £7,578.94 to 3 workers.

Rad Limited, East Ayrshire, failed to pay £6,174.23 to 129 workers.

Liberty Child Care (Elgin) Limited, trading as Liberty Kids, Moray, failed to pay £4,543.49 to 1 worker.

Crerar Hotel Group Limited, City of Edinburgh, failed to pay £3,670.71 to 44 workers.

Mrs Chloe Cullen, trading as First Steps Nursery, Dumfries and Galloway, failed to pay £2,116.05 to 4 workers.

Bell Decorating Group Limited, North Lanarkshire, failed to pay £2,095.20 to 6 workers.

KKS Cards Ltd – dissolved 10 November 2020, trading as Special Greetings, Stirling, failed to pay £2,001.22 to 2 workers.

M&R Childcare Services Ltd – dissolved 22 August 2020, trading as First Steps Nursery, Angus, failed to pay £1,806.63 to 20 workers.

Mackin Childcare Limited, Glasgow, failed to pay £1,733.51 to 14 workers.

Sarah Hair and Beauty Limited – dissolved 10 December 2019, Glasgow, failed to pay £1,571.32 to 2 workers.

Car Spa Glasgow Ltd, Glasgow, failed to pay £1,080.74 to 4 workers.

Mr Said Sellam, trading as Richmond Barbers, City of Edinburgh, failed to pay £865.05 to 3 workers.

Hellcat Ltd, trading as Hellcat Graphics, North Lanarkshire, failed to pay £824.32 to 1 worker.

Schuh Limited, West Lothian, failed to pay £807.38 to 39 workers.

CP Garage Services (Dundee) Limited, Dundee, failed to pay £592.62 to 1 worker

Mr Eamonn Boyle, trading as Ayrshire Towbar Centre, East Ayrshire, failed to pay £539.47 to 1 worker.

Happy Days Out Of School Care Ltd, North Lanarkshire, failed to pay £517.25 to 1 worker.

Miss Zoe Linton, trading as The Green Room, Dundee, failed to pay £507.09 to 3 workers.



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