Retailers ‘named and shamed’ for paying below minimum wage

Cash

McColl’s and One Stop have appeared on a list of convenience chains and individual stores that have broken national minimum wage law.

HMRC investigations found 191 businesses breached minimum wage law between 2011 and 2018, with a total of £2.1m owed to more than 34,000 workers.

The c-stores were:

  • Martin McColl Retail, Brentwood failed to pay £25,8047.80 to 4,366 workers.
  • One Stop Stores, Walsall failed to pay £56,505.04 to 2,631 workers.
  • 7 to 10 Food & Wine, Cardiff failed to pay £9,573.74 to two workers.
  • Your Local Food & Wine, trading as Premier, County Durham failed to pay £6,144.27 to six workers.
  • Big News Trading, trading as Chibber’s Superstore, Calderdale failed to pay £4,545.64 to one worker.
  • North East Convenience Stores, trading as Spar, Northumberland failed to pay £1,853.62 to 81 workers.
  • Amar Anwar, trading as Benwell Post Office, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4, failed to pay £1,711.04 to two workers.
  • R & A Food & Wine (dissolved 05/11/19), Lewisham failed to pay £678.6 to one worker.

The employers named had previously underpaid workers by wrongly deducting pay from workers’ wages, including for uniform and expenses (47%); failing to pay workers for all the time they had worked, such as when they worked overtime (30%); and paid the incorrect apprenticeship rate (19%).

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.”

Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage must pay back arrears of wages to the worker at current minimum wage rates. They also face hefty financial penalties of up to 200% of arrears – capped at £20,000 per worker – which are paid to the government.

Chair of the Low Pay Commission Bryan Sanderson added: “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.”