22 Scots businesses ‘shamed’ for failing to pay minimum wage

Macdonald Hotels is just one of 22 Scottish businesses 'named and shamed' by the UK government. Picture: Michael Gillen
Macdonald Hotels is just one of 22 Scottish businesses 'named and shamed' by the UK government. Picture: Michael Gillen
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Luxury accommodation provider Macdonald Hotels and iconic Fife bakery Fisher and Donaldson are among 22 Scottish businesses which have been “named and shamed” by the UK government for failing to pay their workers the minimum wage.

Renfrewshire retailer Bay Newsagents was the worst offender in Scotland after it was found to owe three staff £12,528 in arrears – the sixth highest amount in the UK.

Meanwhile, Bathgate-headquartered Macdonald Hotels – which has more than 40 hotels UK-wide, including Macdonald Aviemore Resort and the Macdonald Rusacks in St Andrews – withheld £2,123.10 from six workers.

St Andrews-based Fisher and Donaldson, which has a Royal Warrant, owed £574.32 to six employees.

Other Scots businesses on the list of nearly 200 UK companies which were found guilty of not paying full minimum wage to staff ranged from building firms to hair and beauty businesses.

San Lorenzo, an Italian restaurant in Wimbledon, London, topped the UK list with £99,541.98 outstanding in arrears to 30 workers.

Sandy Milne, director at Fisher and Donaldson, said the error had occurred due to a misunderstanding over the rate that 17-year-old workers should be paid.

“These were sadly, employees who had been put on the wrong rate, which was a matter of a few pence per hour,” he said. “We had mistakenly put them on the wrong rate with regards to the minimum wage and we were very happy to pay the money that was due.”

A spokeswoman for Macdonald Hotels said: “We employ over 4,000 people and all are paid at least the minimum wage, however, an error occurred in calculating the accommodation offset for six members of our live-in staff which regrettably caused this situation. We have already repaid each of them the money and apologised.”

Since the scheme was introduced in October 2013, 688 employers have been named and shamed, with total arrears of more than £3.5 million.

Business Minister Margot James said: “It is not acceptable that some employers fail to pay at least the minimum wage their workers are entitled to.

“So we’ll continue to crack down on those who ignore the law, including by naming and shaming them.”

The new national living wage, which came into effect in April, requires those aged 25 or over to be paid £7.20 per hour. Meanwhile, the minimum wage for 18-to-20 year-olds is £5.30 per hour and 16-to-17 year-olds should be paid £3.87 per hour.

All of the money owed to workers by the 198 companies on the list has since been paid back to them.

Ronald McConnachie, owner of Bay Newsagents in Wemyss Bay, was not available for comment.

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