Firms named for failing to pay minimum wage
Loganair, Arnold Clark and the House of Bruar are among the Scottish companies named on a list of over 200 employers which failed to pay their lowest paid staff the minimum wage.
Across the UK Marks & Spencer, Chanel and WH Smith were some of the blue chip names found to have short-changed employees.
Each of the 202 employers across the UK were found to have failed to pay their workers almost £5 million in a clear breach of National Minimum Wage (NMW) law, leaving around 63,000 workers out of pocket.
UK Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business Kevin Hollinrake said: “Paying the legal minimum wage is non-negotiable and all businesses, whatever their size, should know better than to short-change hard-working staff.
“Most businesses do the right thing and look after their employees, but we’re sending a clear message to the minority who ignore the law: pay your staff properly or you’ll face the consequences.”
The businesses named in today’s list have since paid back what they owe to their staff and have also faced financial penalties. The investigations by Revenue and Customs concluded between 2017 and 2019.
A spokesperson for Loganair said: “Loganair’s inclusion in this list relates exclusively to an optional salary sacrifice programme operated more than four years ago which enabled employees to voluntarily increase their pension contributions or to purchase electric vehicles.
“In providing its employees with options as to how to spend their own income, the choices made by a small number of staff led to their take-home pay falling below the NMW at the time.
“This issue was rectified by Loganair and closed by HMRC in March 2019. The Department for Business & Trade, which administers the National Minimum Wage scheme, fully accepts this issue was raised and resolved more than four years ago so it is with great disappointment to see our inclusion in today’s list so long after the event.”
The employers named today previously underpaid workers in the following ways:
• 39% of employers deducted pay from workers’ wages.
• 39% of employers failed to pay workers correctly for their working time.
• 21% of employers paid the incorrect apprenticeship rate.
UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said: “The minimum wage is an important guarantee for workers and this Government is upholding that standard by calling out businesses – regardless of their size – who fail to pay up. We will not see people short-changed for their hard work.
“By naming the firms, we are underlining the fact that paying the national minimum wage is not optional – it’s a legal requirement.”
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, chair of the Low Pay Commission, said: “The minimum wage acts as a guarantee to ensure all workers without exception receive a decent minimum standard of pay. Where employers break the law, they not only do a disservice to their staff but also undermine fair competition between businesses.
“Regular naming rounds should be a useful tool in raising awareness of underpayment and helping to protect minimum wage workers.”
The government has been clear that anyone entitled to be paid the minimum wage should receive it, and that robust enforcement action will be taken against employers who do not pay their staff correctly.
Since 2015, the budget for minimum wage enforcement has doubled with the government having ordered employers to repay over £100 million to 1 million workers.
Scottish companies on the list include:
- Loganair Limited, Paisley, failed to pay £24367 to 43 workers.
- OMI Facilities Limited, Glasgow, failed to pay £20622.77 to 9 workers.
- Macdonald Hotels (Management) Limited, Bathgate, failed to pay £16111.76 to 64 workers.
- Baxterstorey Scotland Limited, Livingston, failed to pay £13618.29 to 186 workers.
- Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited, Glasgow, failed to pay £12215.56 to 48 workers.
- The Park Hotel Ayrshire Limited, Kilmarnock, failed to pay £10088.99 to 129 workers.
- Top Nails Livingston Ltd. – Dissolved 28/9/21, Livingston, failed to pay £9266.4 to 5 workers.
- M1 Valet Centre Ltd – Dissolved 12/11/2019, Glasgow, failed to pay £7807.71 to 3 workers.
- The House of Bruar Limited, Perth, failed to pay £5543.8 to 57 workers.
- Tenpin (Scotland) Limited, trading as Pro Bowl Glenrothes, Glenrothes, failed to pay £5174.65 to 1 worker.
- Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club, Helensburgh, failed to pay £4426.73 to 1 worker.
- The Inveraray Inn Limited, trading as The George Hotel, Inveraray, failed to pay £2933.93 to 25 workers.
- OMI Management Ltd, Glasgow, failed to pay £1983.23 to 2 workers.
- Mrs Patricia Jervis, trading as Bumble Beez, Dunfermline, failed to pay £1768.87 to 7 workers.
- Sahara Global Ltd, trading as A1 Hand Car Wash, Dundee, failed to pay £1087.87 to 4 workers.
- Portal Security Ltd, Glasgow, failed to pay £927.61 to 55 workers.
- LDH Hotels Limited, trading as The Tongue Hotel, Lairg, failed to pay £771.48 to 11 workers.
- Ms Claire Frances, trading as Claire Frances Hairdressing, Glasgow, failed to pay £739.02 to 1 worker.
- Social Care Alba Ltd, Edinburgh, failed to pay £650.38 to 8 workers.
Other on the list include:
o WH Smith Retail Holdings Limited, Swindon, failed to pay £1,017,693.36 to 17,607 workers.
o Lloyds Pharmacy Limited, Coventry,, failed to pay £903,307.47 to 7,916 workers.
o Marks and Spencer P.L.C., London, failed to pay £578,390.79 to 5,363 workers.
o Argos Limited, Milton Keynes, failed to pay £480,093.58 to 10,399 workers.
o Chanel Limited, Croydon, failed to pay £70,413.59 to 250 workers.