Bak­ery work­ers in quiz over how much dough they’re paid

Rolls staff are tar­geted in min­i­mum wage probe

Sunday Mail (UK) - - News -

Bak­ery staff have been quizzed by Rev­enue in­ves­ti­ga­tors in a min­i­mum wage probe.

Mor­tons Rolls work­ers were tar­geted by the in­ves­ti­ga­tors in a se­ries of in­ter­views this year.

The firm are one of the big­gest in the coun­try, dis­tribut­ing rolls and other prod­ucts through­out cen­tral Scot­land, and made more than £1mil­lion profit last year.

It’s un­der­stood HMRC in­ves­ti­ga­tors con­tacted the com­pany and asked if they would pro­vide two mem­bers of staf f for in­ter­view.

They were spo­ken to and HMRC fol­lowed it up by con­tact­ing about hal f a dozen other work­ers seek­ing more in­for­ma­tion.

They were asked about var­i­ous as­pects of their cont ract s and work rou­tines.

Some work­ers at the Glas­gow- based f irm see their ba­sic wage topped up by com­mis­sion, which can vary from week to week.

The UK na­tional liv­ing wage – the min­i­mum which must be paid to work­ers aged 25 and over – rose from £7.50 per hour to £7.83 on April 1.

The min­i­mum for 21 to 24-year-olds is £7.38 per hour, while those aged 18 to 20 must be paid £5.90.

A source said: “The way the con­tracts work out can mean that peo­ple do a lot of hours. HMRC went in and started ask­ing ques­tions.

“They fol­lowed it up by speak­ing to em­ploy­ees and getting paper­work re­lat­ing to var­i­ous roles.”

Mor­tons Rolls man­ag­ing di­rec­tor John Webb said the com­pany had been vis­ited by HMRC in March and May.

He said: “We had the Rev­enue in about min­i­mum wage and we an­swered all their ques­tions.

“They went away quite happy. They had no prob­lem and there is no is­sue.

“They wanted to speak to em­ploy­ees from var­i­ous de­part­ments, from fac­tory floor to driv­ers, clean­ers to of­fice staff. They spoke to in­di­vid­u­als to get their take on it and there was no is­sue.

“I am quite sure if they had found some­thing wrong they would have let peo­ple

know. I had the first meet­ing with them and then my in­ter­nal ac­coun­tant had a meet­ing with them as I was on hol­i­day.

“We went through all their ques­tions. They picked the peo­ple they wanted to speak to and they spoke to the peo­ple con­cerned and there has been noth­ing since.”

An HMRC spokesper­son said: “We do not com­ment on in­di­vid­ual cases. HMRC al­ways take ac­tion to en­sure work­ers re­ceive what they are legally en­ti­tled to.”

All busi­nesses in Bri­tain are re­spon­si­ble for pay­ing the cor­rect min­i­mum wage to their staff.

The law is en­forced by HMRC, who carry out a num­ber of in­ves­ti­ga­tions each year.

We told in 2013 how se­nior staff at Mor­tons were charged with bribery and money laun­der­ing fol­low­ing a po­lice probe into the com­pany. Then owner John Aire, 47, and his wife Morag, 46, were re­ported to pros­e­cu­tors. Oth­ers linked at the time to the firm, in­clud­ing the cur­rent man­ag­ing di­rec­tor’s brother Eli Webb and char­tered ac­coun­tant John Devlin, were also re­ported to the fis­cal.

The po­lice probe into Mor­tons came af­ter the Sun­day Mail re­vealed they had been taken over by Aire, who was once cleared of a £750,000 drugs rap.

Mor­tons Rolls, based at Great West­ern Re­tail Park in Drum­chapel, Glas­gow, are owned by Mor­tons Hold­ings Ltd.

Ac­counts filed for the year to March 2017 show Mor­tons Rolls made a pre-tax profit of £1.1mil­lion, up from £900,000 the year be­fore, on a turnover of £11.6mil­lion.

ON A ROLL Mor­tons made over £1mil­lion profit last year

IN­QUIRIES The Mor­tons Rolls fac­tory in Cly­de­bank

MOR­TONS ROLE MD’s brother Eli Webb

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