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Gloucestershire Business News

Two local businesses named in Government list for not paying minimum wage

The Government released a list of businesses yesterday that have not paid workers minimum wage. Big names on the list included John Lewis, One Stop stores, Welcome Break services and The Body Shop.

It was found by HMRC that:

• 47% wrongly deducted pay from workers' wages, including for uniform and expenses

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

• 19% paid the incorrect apprenticeship rate

Punchline spoke to two companies in Gloucestershire who were caught out by the rules and regulations surrounding paying the minimum wage.

It was found that Mears Homecare Limited of Brockworth failed to pay £5,908.87 to four workers.

The chief executive, David Miles said:

"In response to a former subsidiary of Mears Group being named in the National Minimum Wage Naming Scheme, the Mears Executive would like to make it clear that this incident was in relation to an operation owned by Care UK at the time and not Mears, it covers the period from 2011 to 2016.

"On purchasing the business from Care UK, we of course corrected this issue at the time.

"We are outraged at this outcome. On hearing that we were due to be named we informed BEISS that we did not own the company in question when it happened, we resolved it immediately when we took it over and we haven't owned that company for the last year.

"I have written to the Department and the Cabinet Office to question why Government red tape allows for good businesses to be publicly shamed when we always act in good faith. All this does is cause worry and uncertainty to our hardworking colleagues.

"BEISS must urgently review their procedures , which are clearly not fit for purpose on this matter. Myself and the Executive Board would be happy to make ourselves available to speak to anyone who wishes to understand more about this ridiculous situation."

Another company, Walkers Private Day Nursery of Moreton-in-Marsh has been named and shamed for failing to pay £1324.74 to two workers.

Manager Caroline Koenig commented: "I undertook my first ever apprentices through a training provider, to help the younger generation get on the career ladder.

"The training provider neglected to tell me on sign up the rules: that an apprentice after one year must go to their age group's minimum wage or above (even though the course is for 18months). However, I had already corrected the issue long before the HMRC came to visit. But as I had identified it, they had to do an investigation. Had the training provider ensured I knew; this would never have happened."

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