Yorkshire firms that failed to pay minimum wage named and shamed

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Business Minister Margot James.

A DOZEN Yorkshire companies have been named and shamed by the Government for failing to pay their staff the national minimum wage.

From hairdressers to garages, workers across the region have found themelves with less money in their pocket than they deserve.

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After a Government investigation, all of that money has now been paid back.

Business Minister Margot James said since the national living wage scheme was introduced in October 2013, 688 employers have been named and shamed, with total arrears of more than £3.5 million.

She said: “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.”

The department’s investigators found that TM West Plumbing Services Ltd in Leeds owed £12,617.76 to two apprentices.

Omega Proteins Ltd, Halifax, owed £8,977.51 to five workers, the Black Swan (Yorkshire) Ltd trading as The Black Swan Hotel in York, owed £5,836.66 to 10 workers.

Mr Keith Smith and Mrs Lynda Smith, trading as KLS Electrical Contracting in Goole in East Yorkshire owed £3,619.70 to one worker and G C Motors Ltd, Harrogate, owed £2,328.83 to two workers. Philips Hair Salons Ltd, Wakefield, owed £1,904.00 to four workers.

Seven more companies in the region owed their staff between £360 to £1200.

Nationally Brighton and Hove Albion and Blackpool FC were among those named for not paying the legal minimum rate, each to one worker.

David Cameron’s local pub in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, where the former Prime Minister launched a literary festival in 2015, had also failed to pay one of its workers more than £1000.

Martin Small of TM West Plumbing said the Government’s decision to drag up their case, which was rectified more than two years ago was very unfair as they had outsourced the hiring of two apprentices to another company and had not realised they were not being paid the right amount.

He said: “We paid back the staff as soon as we realised and paid a fine - so in effect we’ve paid out twice.

“We are not bad people, it was a genuine mistake that has been made, which has been proved and this is the way we have been treated.

“We kept all our 16 staff on during the recession and my business partner who owns the company took a pay reduction. We pride ourselves on looking after our staff.”

G C Motors in Harrogate also came unstuck on paying the correct wage for apprentices. They said the Government have been very good at rolling out schemes for younger people but the guidance and information provided to employers is often “limited or unclear”. They apologised to everyone involved.

Philips Hair Salons said they had deducted money from two staff for company car parking and one worker for a hair dressing kit.

This had taken their wages below the minimum wage, which they regretted. Omega Proteins Ltd said the five employees were deemed to be below the minimum wage threshold because of subsidised accommodation supplied by the company. They have changed their procedures since then.