Named and shamed for not pay­ing the min­i­mum wage

Two Buck­ing­hamshire com­pa­nies are on busi­ness min­is­ter’s list

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

Al­most 200 em­ploy­ers who failed to pay their work­ers the le­gal min­i­mum wage have been pub­licly named, Busi­ness Min­is­ter Mar­got James an­nounced.

Be­tween them, the 198 com­pa­nies named owed £466,219 in ar­rears across a range of em­ploy­ers, in­clud­ing foot­ball clubs, ho­tels, care homes and hair­dressers.

All of the money owed to these work­ers has been paid back to them.

Prest­wood Mo­tors in Prest­wood was named as num­ber 40 on the list for ow­ing £2,375 to one worker.

Owner Lee Em­bury be­lieves his com­pany should not be in the list, say­ing: “That’s not the case at all. He was an ap­pren­tice and that’s all been paid up now and it’s set­tled. That’s the only one we’ve ever had in 45 years of be­ing in busi­ness and it’s all been set­tled.”

Mr Em­bury said he would be con­tact­ing the gov­ern­ment’s Depart­ment for Busi­ness, En­ergy and In­dus­trial Strat­egy, which pub­lished the list, about be­ing in­cluded.

Top Tread, in High Wy­combe, was named at 132 on the list for ow­ing £402.25 to one worker.

Owner Salim Ud­din Khan said: “What it was is to help him out, I took on a young ap­pren­tice. I asked him to come in from 2pm to 6pm and paid him for those hours, but what I didn’t re­alise is you have to pay a min­i­mum of 30 hours a week, but he wasn’t work­ing 30 hours a week so he was short. It’s some­thing I’ve learnt the hard way and I didn’t have an ac­coun­tant at the time. Now I have an ac­coun­tant.

“I paid him and I pay my taxes. I’m a fair per­son and that’s the way it is.”

Since the scheme was in­tro­duced in Oc­to­ber 2013, 688 em­ploy­ers have been named and shamed, with to­tal ar­rears of more than £3.5mil­lion.

Busi­ness Min­is­ter Mar­got James said: “This gov­ern­ment is de­ter­mined to build an econ­omy that works for ev­ery­one, not just the priv­i­leged few.

“That means mak­ing sure ev­ery­one gets paid the wages they are owed – in­clud­ing our new, higher, Na­tional Liv­ing Wage. It is not ac­cept­able that some em­ploy­ers fail to pay at least the min­i­mum wage their work­ers are en­ti­tled to. So we’ll con­tinue to crack down on those who ig­nore the law, in­clud­ing by nam­ing and sham­ing them.”

Num­ber one on the list was San Lorenzo Ltd, in Wim­ble­don, Lon­don, which owed £99,541 to 30 work­ers, fol­lowed by Premier Re­cruit­ment Ltd, in Derby, which owed £34,797 to 424 work­ers, then Regis UK Ltd, in Coven­try, which owed £25,712 to 604 work­ers.

The Na­tional Liv­ing Wage for work­ers aged 25 and over was in­tro­duced in April this year, which has meant a pay rise of more than £900-a-year for some­one pre­vi­ously work­ing full time on the Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage.

For work­ers un­der the age of 25, the Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage still ap­plies.

It is an em­ployer’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to be aware of the dif­fer­ent min­i­mum wage rates depend­ing on the cir­cum­stances of their work­ers – and to make sure all el­i­gi­ble work­ers are paid at least the min­i­mum rate they are en­ti­tled to. The Na­tional Liv­ing Wage will be en­forced equally ro­bustly along­side the Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage.

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