A Glasgow hairdresser and a Clydebank fishand chip restaurant are among the Scottish companies being named and shamed by the UK government for underpaying their workers.
More than 13,000 of the UKs lowest paid workers, including 90 people in Scotland, will get around 2 million in back pay as part of the scheme to name employers who have failed to pay National Minimum Wage and Living Wage.
Top of the Scottish List this year was The Fish and Chip Ship Limited, in Clydebank which failed to pay 4,900.15 to nine workers. A spokeswoman for the company said I dont want to make any comment just now, as I have only just received the letter about this.
Also on the list of shame is James Hughes Hair in Glasgow which failed to pay 1,567.94 to two workers.
In total nineteen businesses Scotland have been identified and ordered to pay their 90 workers 37,000, with hairdressing and retail businesses amongst the most prolific offenders.
Scottish Secretary of Unite Pat Rafferty, called it a Dickensian disgrace and urged the low paid to join his union to fight this modern day slavery.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy today published a list of 233 businesses across the UK that underpaid workers.
As well as paying back staff the money owed, employers on the list have been fined a record 1.9m.
Second on the listwas DSL Accident Repair Ltd, in Edinburgh who failed to pay 4,896.43 to three workers. One of the managers, who asked not to be named said We rectified this as soon as it was discovered. It actually was a mistake by the local college who had advised us what rates to pay those who had been training. But we sorted it out very quickly.
Then came hairdressers the Rainbow Room Limited (named changed to JPTO Ltd), in Clarkston who failed to pay 4,532.94 to 21 workers. Company director Adrian Foxworthy told the Herald his trainees contracts had been provided by the National Hairdressers Federation (NHF) which required them to be in work 15 mins early.
Since this case they have changed all trainees contracts in the UK. I was fined and also had to pay the correct amount back dated to previous employees. All my employees now are not contracted to be in 15 mins early, he said.
Meanwhile, Braehead Foods Ltd, promoted as a fine food wholesaler and Scottish game processor who supply the best chefs in the hospitality industry across the UK and Europe, failed to pay 3,434.39 to 28 workers. The Kilmarnock-based company was asked to comment, but did not respond.
Mr Rafferty said: Day after day Scotland is blighted by employers determined to avoid their legal responsibilities and force their workers to accept poverty wages. Todays list of shame is only the tip of the iceberg of whats going on. The question is what is to be done about this Dickensian disgrace? Theres only one answer -join a trade union.
He said 10 out of the 19 Scottish companies on the list were hairdressing firms, which seemed to be run by modern day Mr and Mrs Micawbers.
The people who work for them are being forced to take an illegal wages haircut to boost their employers profits. Unite Scotland is campaigning today to get these workers to fight this disgrace by joining a trade union.
The NHF was asked for a comment but did not respond.
UK Government Minister for Scotland Lord Duncan said: 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.
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.
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