Scotland business

Low-wage firms 'named and shamed'

£7.20 displayed on pallets in an Asda Supermarket in Trafford, Manchester, as the new national living wage comes into force. Image copyright PA
Image caption The National Living Wage rate is £7.20 per hour for workers aged 25 and over

Fifteen Scottish firms have been "named and shamed" by the UK government as national minimum and living wage offenders.

The employers on the largest list ever compiled by the Department of Business must now give 124 members of staff a total of £29,033 in back pay.

They include St Mirren Football Club, as well as firms in the care sector and fast food industry.

Across the UK, 15,500 workers were identified as being underpaid.

The biggest offender in Scotland was Crossroads Caring Scotland, which failed to pay £17,685.38 to 40 workers in Clackmannan. The charity provides support for carers and their families.

Peacock Stores Limited, in Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway, failed to pay £2,256.58 to 42 workers.

Scottish Championship side St Mirren FC was found to have underpaid one worker £1,277.10.

Image copyright G Laird/Geograph
Image caption St Mirren Football Club was among 350 firms identified across the UK

Among the 360 UK offenders, employers in the hairdressing, hospitality and retail sectors were the most prolific.

As well as recovering arrears of £995,233 for some of the UK's lowest-paid workers, HMRC issued penalties worth about £800,000.

For the first time, the naming list included employers who failed to pay eligible workers at least the new National Living Wage rate, which is currently £7.20 for workers aged 25 and over.

Business Minister Margot James said: "Every worker in the UK is entitled to at least the national minimum or living wage and this government will ensure they get it.

"That is why we have named and shamed more than 350 employers who failed to pay the legal minimum, sending the clear message to employers that minimum wage abuses will not go unpunished."

'Travel time oversight'

Excuses for underpaying workers included using tips to top-up pay, docking workers' wages to pay for their Christmas party and making staff pay for their own uniforms out of their salary.

A statement issued on behalf of Crossroads Caring Scotland's Clackmannanshire service said the incident occurred more than 16 months ago and was the result of "an oversight relating to travel time". Forty staff members out of a total of more than 650 staff were affected.

The statement added: "As soon as the breach was identified, we worked closely with HMRC to ensure that our workers received the full back pay that they were entitled to and also to ensure our compliance with this complex legislation in the future.

"As a result, we have put in place processes to ensure that such a breach cannot occur again. All of our support workers are now paid the Scottish Living Wage of £8.25, which will increase to £8.45 in April."

Image copyright Getty Images

The Scottish companies named on the list were:

  • Crossroads Caring Scotland, Clackmannan, failed to pay £17,685.38 to 40 workers
  • Peacock Stores Limited, Langholm, failed to pay £2,256.58 to 42 workers
  • Mr John Preston trading as Sculptur, Glasgow, failed to pay £1,537.70 to one worker
  • Longreef Ltd trading as mC'm Hairdressing, Edinburgh, failed to pay £1,311.91 to one worker
  • Dalkeith Retail Centre Limited, Dalkeith, failed to pay £1,286.03 to one worker
  • The St Mirren Football Club, Paisley, failed to pay £1,277.10 to one worker
  • Herbel (Northern) Limited trading as KFC, Aberdeen, failed to pay £1,068.13 to 23 workers.
  • Mr John & Mrs Yvonne Elliott trading as John Elliott and Sons, Beith, failed to pay £736.31 to one worker
  • Eva (Scotland) Ltd trading as Valentini's Fast Food Pizzeria, Glasgow, failed to pay £403.78 to seven workers
  • Mr Vahap Firat trading as Café Cockburn, Edinburgh, failed to pay £398.70 to one worker
  • Caledonia Enterprise Limited trading as The Tartan Lodge, Glasgow, failed to pay £380 to one worker
  • Dark Sky Park Ltd trading as House o' Hill Hotel, Newton Stewart, failed to pay £279.63 to one worker
  • GHSL Ltd trading as Braeside Services, Glasgow, failed to pay £271.20 to two workers
  • YESSS Home Improvements Ltd, Glasgow, failed to pay £140.70 to one worker
  • Lotus Encounters Limited trading as Avant Garde, Glasgow, failed to pay £103.85 to one worker

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