Employers Ordered To Pay Back £35,000 To Underpaid Staff

17 August 2017, 07:19

British money

Workers in Scotland will receive a chunk of the £2 million back pay across the UK being given out to those who were underpaid the minimum wage.

A total of 19 employers in Scotland have been named and told to pay 90 workers overall back pay amounting to more than £35,000.

Retail and hairdressing businesses are among the most frequent offenders.

The Fish and Chip Ship Ltd in West Dunbartonshire faces the highest Scottish bill of the UK Government scheme to crack down on offenders.

Officials said the firm failed to pay £4,900 to nine workers.

DSL Accident Repair Ltd, based in Edinburgh, is next on the list with £4,896 owed to three workers, while the Rainbow Room (Clarkston) Ltd, which has since changed names, failed to pay £4,532 to 21 workers.

Since the scheme was introduced in 2013, 40,000 workers have received back pay totalling more than £6 million, with 1,200 employers fined £4 million.

Current national minimum wage rates range from £7.50 an hour for those aged 25 and over to an apprentice rate of £3.50 an hour.

Scotland Office Minister Lord Duncan said: "Life is tough enough for folks today without employers trying to diddle their workers out of their entitlement.

"The UK Government's National Living Wage was established to ensure that everyone, everywhere, receives a decent income.

"To hear that there are still companies that believe they can get away with underpaying their staff is unacceptable. If it takes naming and shaming to ensure that employers wake up to their responsibilities then the UK Government will not shirk from that task. Workers need to know that we have their back on this one."

Across the UK, workers at 233 businesses will receive back pay in the latest round of payments totalling around £2 million, while employers have been fined £1.9 million in total by the UK Government.

Reasons given by employers for underpaying workers included deducting money from pay packets to pay for uniforms, not paying workers for overtime hours, and paying apprenticeship rates to workers.

Shadow Scotland Office Minister Paul Sweeney said: "Any trader or business found not to be paying the minimum wage should face the full force of the law.

"Labour would crack down on unscrupulous employers, ban overseas-only recruitment practices and increase prosecutions of employers evading the minimum wage.

"In addition to ensuring companies pay the minimum wage, we would increase it by creating a National Living Wage of £10 per hour as part of our plan for country that works for the many, not the few."

Scottish Secretary of Unite, Pat Rafferty, said the rogue firms were a "Dickensian disgrace" and urged those affected to unionise.