SCOTLAND’S oldest prep school was among 25 employers “named and shamed” yesterday by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for failing to pay staff the national minimum wage.
Cargilfield in Edinburgh, whose fees are £5,970 a term, underpaid its artist in residence by £3,739.
The 141-year-old school said it had paid the sum, with interest, to Katy Anderson as soon as it had been alerted by HMRC to the underpayment.
Ms Anderson was employed by the school, based in the Barnton area of the city, on a flexible contract from September 2012 and left in April last year.
The national minimum wage is £6.31 an hour for adults and will rise to £6.50 from October.
In a statement sent to parents, a spokesman said: “Cargilfield School was listed on the HMRC register of employers who failed to pay workers the national minimum wage.
“The school apologises unreservedly for this unfortunate situation, which is very much a one-off case.
“We wish to reassure all at the school that Cargilfield aims to ensure both teaching and non teaching, permanent and part- time staff are paid in accordance with published guidelines.
“Once again, the school apologies that such a situation arose.”
A statement from the school last night said: “As soon as Cargilfield was alerted to the situation the payments were made with interest to Katy Anderson who worked at the school as an artist in residence.
“This is very much a one off and the school always ensure its staff are paid appropriately.”
Cargilfield, which was founded in 1873 in the Trinity area of the capital, moved to its current site in 1898. It is attended by some 300 pupils, aged between three and 13.
Other Scottish-based employers named by the UK’s tax authority in the biggest announcement since launching its “name and shame” policy last year included Perth Hotels, which neglected to pay a worker almost £557, and Hamilton tanning salon Sun Shack, which did not pay eight workers £134.
No-one was available for comment from Perth Hotels yesterday.
The 25 employers named collectively owe workers more than £43,000 in arrears, and face fines totalling more than £21,000. They also include a central heating firm in Hampshire, a pub in Cheshire, a joinery in Cumbria, a hotel in Reading and a hairdressers in Essex.
The UK government said by naming employers it hoped the bad publicity would be an additional deterrent to employers who would otherwise be tempted not to pay the minimum wage.
The revised naming scheme, which came into effect last October, stripped back restrictions to make it simpler for officials to name more employers who broke the law.
Ministers also plan to increase fines so an employer underpaying ten workers could face penalties of up to £200,000.
Business Minister Jenny Willott said: “Paying less than the minimum wage is not only wrong, it’s illegal. If employers break the law they need to know that they will face tough consequences. Any worker who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady added: “The penalties won by HMRC – which the government are rightly making even bigger – should be a clear deterrent to any bad bosses thinking about short-changing their staff.”
The 25 employers are:
• Christine Cadden and Nicola Banks of Renaissance, Wirral, neglected to pay £7,310.65 to three workers.
• Alan King and John King of Arthur Simpson & Co, Bradford, neglected to pay £6,426.12 to a worker.
• Central Heating Services Ltd, Hampshire, neglected to pay £6,200.28 to four workers.
• Cargilfield School Ltd, Edinburgh, neglected to pay £3,739.58 to a worker.
• A2ZEE Construction Ltd, Cramlington, neglected to pay £3,375.51 to 14 workers.
• Mr and Mrs Balasco of Eugenio, Bristol, neglected to pay £3,037.53 to two workers.
• Mr and Mrs Hampton of The Wheatsheaf Inn, Cheshire, neglected to pay £2,057.88 to five workers.
• Steven Stainton of Steven Stainton Joinery, Cumbria, neglected to pay £1,415.82 to a worker.
• Runbaro Ltd, Swindon, neglected to pay £1,413.88 to a worker.
• Satwinder Singh Khatter and Tejinder Singh Khatter of The Bath Hotel, Reading, neglected to pay £1,237.79 to two workers.
• Richard Last of Classic Carpentry, Godalming, neglected to pay £1,236.72 to a worker.
• We are Mop! Ltd, London, neglected to pay £1,018.05 to two workers.
• Mrs Sue English of Legends Hairdressers, Colchester, neglected to pay £823.40 to a worker.
• Saftdwin Ltd, Hampshire, neglected to pay £806.37 to two workers.
• Master Distribution Ltd, Essex, neglected to pay £718.62 to a worker.
• Perth Hotels Ltd, Perth, neglected to pay £556.80 to a worker.
• Bryants Nurseries Ltd, Hertfordshire, neglected to pay £494.07 to a worker.
• Dove Mill Retail Outlet Ltd, Bolton, neglected to pay £461.84 to a worker.
• Luigi’s Little Italy Ltd, Yorkshire, neglected to pay £281.04 to five workers.
• CPS SW Ltd, Exmouth, neglected to pay £261.29 to a worker.
• Mr Gary Calder, Mr Richard Calder and Mr Neil Calder of Avenue Agricultural, Northamptonshire, neglected to pay £256.55 to a worker.
• Dakal Ltd, Northampton, neglected to pay £252.00 to two workers.
• Zoom Ltd, Havant, neglected to pay £242.28 to three workers.
• HSS Hire Service Group Ltd, Manchester, neglected to pay £149.00 to 15 workers.
• Sun Shack Ltd, Hamilton, neglected to pay £134.35 to eight workers.