A trio of businesses in west London have been named and shamed for failing to pay workers the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
Offenders included Organic Warehouse (Chelsea) Ltd, trading as a healthy food retailer called Here in Sydney Street, Chelsea; Hearns Coaches Ltd of Uxbridge Road, Harrow; and Stage London Ltd trading as Stage Hair and Beauty Salon in Parsons Green Lane, Fulham.
Among them, coach operator Hearns failed to pay £1,347.50 to one of its employees.
Colin Thacker, business manager of Hearn’s Coaches Ltd, told getwestlondon : “We are an extremely reputable coach operator and offer some of the best wage packages within the industry.
“Unfortunately, on one occasion in 2011, there was a misunderstanding regarding the status of a trainee employee.
“When this was brought to our attention, we fully cooperated and immediately took action to correct our error.
“It is very obvious that this standalone incident in almost 70 years of trading was a genuine mistake on our part and one we were more than happy to rectify.”
Between the other two companies, Stage was reported to have neglected to pay a total of £1,433.26 to two employees, while Here, located in Chelsea Farmers Market, failed to pay £117.50 to one employee.
getwestlondon has commented both for comment.
Business Minister Nick Boles said: “As a one nation government on the side of working people we are determined that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage receives it.
“There is no excuse for not paying staff the wages they’re entitled to.
“Our policy of naming and shaming employers who ignore the law means there are consequences for their reputation as well as their wallets.
“In April we will introduce a new National Living Wage which will mean a pay rise of over £900-a-year for someone working full time on the minimum wage and we will enforce this equally robustly.”
Since October 1 2015, the NMW rose to £6.70p/h, and from April 1 2016 will rise again to £7.20p/h for adults aged 21 and over.
Across the UK, 92 companies collectively owed more than £1.8m and each case was thoroughly investigated by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Since the scheme was introduced in October 2013, 490 employers have been named and shamed, with total arrears of over £3m and total penalties of over £1.1m.
Stage Salon and Here have been contacted for a comment.
Businesses or employees with questions about National Minimum Wage click here.
Current National Minimum Wage rates:
Adult rate (21 and over) - £6.70 per hour
18 to 20-year-olds - £5.30 per hour
16 to 17-year-olds - £3.87 per hour
Apprentice rate (inc 16-18-year-olds and aged 19 in first year) - £3.30 per hour