The former Beales department store chain and the company behind a popular Bournemouth restaurant have both found themselves ‘named and humiliated’ for breaking minimum wage laws.
JE Beale PLC was found to have underpaid 1,177 store workers by an average of Â£ 21.25 each, in a violation centered on uniforms policy.
Days Bournemouth Limited, which previously operated the popular Days ‘all you can eat’ restaurant at Old Christchurch Road in Bournemouth, was found to have underpaid nine employees by an average of Â£ 2,052 each.
They were among 12 employers in the South West and 208 nationally highlighted by the government for failing to pay minimum wage.
Business Minister Paul Scully: âWe want workers to know that we are on their side and that they should be treated fairly by their employers, which is why paying the statutory minimum wage should not be negotiable for workers. companies.
Beales’ breaches dated from 2013 to 2018 and amounted to Â£ 25,005.
Tony Brown, the company’s last chief executive, said the breach happened before he joined the company for a second term as boss.
He said the store’s policy of requiring store employees to wear white shirts and black pants was seen by HMRC as a cost to staff, which meant they were underpaid.
“When I came back we changed it to ‘dress well’ so we got out of any technical loopholes. The fine fell in my time and was substantial and in my opinion disproportionate to the technical violation “, did he declare.
The breaches by Days Bournemouth Limited took place from May 2016 to March 2017 and the underpayments amounted to Â£ 18,473. The company was dissolved in April 2021.
Mr Scully said: “We want workers to know that we are on their side and that they should be treated fairly by their employers, which is why paying the statutory minimum wage should not be negotiable for companies. ”
âToday’s 208 businesses, regardless of their size, should know that you shouldn’t sacrifice hardworking employees, whether intentionally or not.
âWith Christmas fast approaching, it is more important than ever that money is not taken out of the pockets of working people. So don’t be a con artist – pay your staff well.
House of Fraser, Schuh and Waterstones are among 208 employers in the UK who have broken minimum wage laws when paying staff, according to the government.
The companies have left around 12,000 workers out of pocket for a total of around Â£ 1.2million, the government said.
The most common problem among the companies cited was that they deducted money from staff salaries to pay for expenses such as work uniforms.
House of Fraser paid 354 workers no more than Â£ 16,000, Schuh paid 39 workers Â£ 807 and Waterstones paid almost Â£ 8,700 to 58 workers.
The current owner of House of Fraser, Frasers Group, said the claims originated before the House of Fraser purchase in 2018.
He said: “In short, these violations are historical and relate to the activities of the former House of Fraser company which is now under administration and have nothing to do with the activities of the new House of Fraser company which is owned by Frasers. . Group. ”
The other named companies have been contacted for comment.