The Leeds employers who breached minimum wage rules

Leeds businesses are among almost  200 employers who  have been identified as having paid their employees less than the minimum wage.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 5:49 pm
The Shabab on Bishopgate Street in Leeds city centre. Image: Google

Following investigations by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, a total of £2.1m was found to be owed to over 34,000 workers.

The breaches took place between 2011 and 2018.

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The Government said that named employers have since been made to pay back what they owed and were fined an additional £3.2m.

The 191 named companies failed to pay £2.1 million to over 34,000 workers.

Shabab Express Limited, Leeds, on Bishopgate Street in Leeds city centre, failed to pay £6,783.69 to 14 workers

The Dental Workshop Limited, Leeds, LS11, failed to pay £4190.65 to 1 worker

RCL Limited, Leeds, LS10, failed to pay £2677.1 to four workers

Westrow Ilkley LLP, trading as Westrow, Bradford, LS29, failed to pay £1,734.76 to three workers

Stephen Austwick, trading as Steve Austwick MOT Centre, Leeds, LS28, failed to pay £1,386.75 to two workers.

When the YEP contacted the Dental Workshop a woman who did not want to be name, said: "It was an error that was rectified immediately."

The Government states that minimum wage breaches can occur when workers are being paid on or just above the minimum wage rate, but then have deductions from their pay for uniform or accommodation.

The employers named by the Government underpaid workers in the following ways:

A total of 47 per cent wrongly deducted pay from workers’ wages, including for uniform and expenses

30 per cent failed to pay workers for all the time they had worked, such as when they worked overtime

And 19 per cent paid the incorrect apprenticeship rate.

While not all minimum wage underpayments are intentional, it has always been the responsibility of the employers to check that they are abiding by the law.

Guidance for employers is available on the Government website.

Business Minister Paul Scully said: “Our minimum wage laws are there to ensure a fair day’s work gets a fair day’s pay – it is unacceptable for any company to come up short.

“All employers, including those on this list, need to pay workers properly.

“This government will continue to protect workers’ rights vigilantly, and employers that short-change workers won’t get off lightly.”

Employers who pay their workers less than the minimum wage have to pay back arrears of wages to the worker at current minimum wage rates.

They also face the possibility of large financial penalties as well, up to 200 per cent of arrears - capped at £20,000 per worker - which are paid to the Government.

Since 2015, the Government has ordered employers to repay over £100 million to one million workers.

Chair of the Low Pay Commission Bryan Sanderson said: “These are very difficult times for all workers, particularly those on low pay who are often undertaking critical tasks in a variety of key sectors including care.

“The minimum wage provides a crucial level of support and compliance is essential for the benefit of both the recipients and our society as a whole.”

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