A LUXURY spa hotel, a nursery and a restaurant were among 360 employers in the region named and shamed by the Government for underpaying their staff.
The Feversham Arms Hotel in Helmsley underpaid 31 members of staff by £19,407.32.
And Tiny Turners Nursery in Stockton failed to pay £20,740.90 to 54 workers – but said it was due to staff offsetting childcare against their salary, something it has stopped doing now.
Others included Peri Peri Original restaurant in Middlesbrough, whose former parent company Delicatezza Limited underpaid seven workers £9,687.66, and accountancy firm Moncur Reece, in Middlesbrough, which underpaid a worker by £8,092.26, but said it had been led by an agency which then disappeared, leaving it liable for the shortfall.
Arthur and Chris Race, trading as Race Joinery in Auckland Park, near Bishop Auckland, underpaid a worker £5,303.36 and other employers on the list included Rapportt Hair & Beauty in Middlesbrough, Langley Park Village Store, Durham, Edwins’s Cakes in Richmond, North Yorkshire, Age Concern Newcastle and Engineering Recruitment Services in Middlesbrough.
More than 360 employers across the country were named and shamed for underpaying more than 15,500 workers the national minimum or living wage.
The workers have now received back pay following the government investigations.
Employers who failed to pay National Living Wage were also named and shamed for the first time as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy named all underpaying offenders.
Penalties worth around £800,000 were issued to employers flouting the rules.
Business Minister Margot James said: “Every worker in the UK is entitled to at least the national minimum or living wage and this government will ensure they get it.
“That is why we have named and shamed more than 350 employers who failed to pay the legal minimum, sending the clear message to employers that minimum wage abuses will not go unpunished.”
She said excuses for underpaying workers included using tips to top up pay, docking workers’ wages to pay for their Christmas party and making staff pay for their own uniforms out of their salary.
Charles Merchie, general manager at the Feversham Arms, one of the region’s worst culprits for underpayment, said: “It was our understanding that we were compliant with the National Minimum Wage law. It was not intentional by any means to disobey this law. As soon as we knew there had been a mistake we corrected this immediately. Furthermore we have now put a robust system in place to ensure this does not happen again.”
Companies named and shamed by the Government today:
- Mrs Helen Dey, Mrs Karen Clark, Mr Harry Clark, Miss Jessica Clark & Miss Jennifer Dey trading as Tiny Turners Nurseries, Stockton, failed to pay £20,740.90 to 54 workers.
- Feversham Arms Limited trading as Feversham Arms Hotel, Helmsley, York, failed to pay £19,407.32 to 31 workers.
- Gary Hedley, Mr Arthur Murray & Mrs Shirley Murray trading as Gary Hedley Hairdressing, Newcastle, failed to pay £18,539.40 to 27 workers.
- Delicatezza Limited trading as Peri Peri Original, Middlesbrough, failed to pay £9,687.66 to 7 workers.
- Moncur Reece Ltd, Middlesbrough, failed to pay £8,092.26 to 1 worker.
- Mr Arthur Race & Mr Chris Race trading as Race Joinery, Auckland Park, failed to pay £5,303.36 to 1 worker.
- Mrs Melanie Ferri trading as Rapport Hair & Beauty, Middlesbrough, failed to pay £3,642.18 to 1 worker.
- Mrs Ravinder Rai trading as Langley Park Village Store, Durham, failed to pay £2,123.13 to 1 worker.
- Age Concern Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, failed to pay £1,737.32 to 1 worker.
- Perco Task 1 Ltd trading as Subway, Durham, failed to pay £1,468.03 to 1 worker.
- Mrs Edwina Atkinson trading as Edwina's Cakes, Richmond, failed to pay £1,460.17 to 1 worker.
- Engineering Recruitment Services Ltd trading, Middlesbrough, failed to pay £857.64 to 1 worker.
- Mrs Helen Boi trading as Colori, York, failed to pay £592.74 to 1 worker.
- Footprints Learning for Life Ltd, Hartlepool, failed to pay £339.85 to 4 workers.
- Norton Café Ltd, Stockton-on-Tees, failed to pay £228.63 to 2 workers.
- Highfield House Care Home Limited, Durham, failed to pay £176.40 to 9 workers.
- Mr Chris Race trading as Race Joinery, Auckland Park, failed to pay £171.88 to 1 worker.
- Mayfair Residential Care Home Limited, Scarborough, failed to pay £115.04 to 1 worker.