Dealer amongst foodservice firms rapped for low pay

A record number of UK workers are due to receive millions in backpay.

The government has published the names of 239 national employers which found to have underpaid 22,400 UK workers by a total of £1.44m.

Among that list is Aberdeenshire dealer Grampian Catering Equipment, which HMRC reports failed to pay £1,594.63 to one staff member.

Catering Insight approached Grampian for comment.

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The distributor was one of a number of foodservice-related companies to be cautioned for low paying. Another was Revolution Bars Group plc, trading as Revolución de Cuba in Tameside OL6, which failed to pay £613.37 to 61 workers, with average arrears of £10.06 per worker.

Elsewhere, Premiere Coffee Limited, trading as Costa Coffee in Southampton, failed to pay £3,116.85 to 41 workers, with average arrears of £76.02 per worker.

Other local restaurants appeared on the list for more nominal amounts, including R.J. Gook Limited, trading as Chapter One Restaurant in Bromley; Chick Chicken Catford; Indus Cuisine Limited, trading as Indus Indian Take Away in Plymouth; A and Z Restaurant Company Limited, trading as The Chancery in the City of London; Restaurant James Sommerin from the Vale of Glamorgan; A Team PH Ltd, trading as Pizza Hut in Croydon; Pass A Pizza Limited, trading as Domino’s Pizza in Lambeth; and Kentsmill Limited, trading as Subway in Birmingham.

The back pay identified by HMRC was for more workers than in any previous single naming list and has generated record fines of £1.97m.

The earliest underpayment dated back to 2011, with the most recent happening this year.

Business minister Andrew Griffiths said: “Our priority is making sure workers know their rights and are getting the pay they worked hard for. Employers who don’t do the right thing face fines as well as being hit with the bill for backpay.

“The UK’s lowest paid workers have had the fastest wage growth in 20 years thanks to the introduction of the National Living Wage and this list serves as a reminder to all employers to check they are getting their workers’ pay right.”

Low pay commission chairman Bryan Sanderson added: “It is crucial that employers understand their responsibilities and workers know their rights around the minimum wage. That is why active enforcement and effective communication from government is so important.

“It is therefore encouraging to see that HMRC has recovered unpaid wages for the largest number of workers yet in this round of naming and shaming. I’m confident that the government will continue to pursue underpayment of the minimum wage vigorously.”

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