St Johnstone 'extremely disappointed' after club appears on HMRC 'named and shamed' list

St Johnstone have stated that they are ‘extremely disappointed’ after the club appeared in the UK Government’s ‘named and shamed' list for failing to pay the minimum wage.

St Johnstone have appeared on the HMRC 'named and shamed' list for failing to pay the minimum wage. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The Scottish Premiership side has been accused of owing £14,266.74 to 28 workers, including 25 apprentice footballers, after an HMRC investigation into 139 companies between 2016 and 2018.

The ‘naming and shaming’ scheme has been resumed after two-year pause and the UK Government's business minister Paul Scully said exposing employers for failing to pay the minimum wage should be a "wake-up call" to rogue bosses.

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However, in a statement, the Perth club insisted it made arrangements to pay former employees the amounts owed after the arrears were identified by the HMRC investigation.

A club statement read: “The club wishes to advise its supporters that in 2017 it enabled HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to conclude what was a very lengthy scrutiny of its working practices in relation to the National Minimum Wage.

“HMRC looked at employees across the full spectrum of the club’s activities from the professional football operation and match day staffing to the club’s weekday operations which covered matters such as catering and conferencing.

“The outcome of this historic HMRC investigation was that they identified arrears amounting to £14,246 which was due to 28 different employees from the previous five years to 2017.

“As required, the club then made arrangements for these former employees to be paid the relevant amounts.

“25 of the 28 employees were apprentice footballers with the club. Due to the absence of written evidence to support our position in relation to hours worked as opposed to the actual rate of pay, the club was unable to disprove HMRC’s estimate of the average hours worked per week by these employees.

“The hours of work undertaken by our apprentices was fully reviewed and changes were implemented immediately following HMRC's outcome.

“The perceived failure to pay three other employees the National Minimum Wage related to voluntary deductions from pay by these employees.

“The club prides itself in treating our staff fairly and we are extremely disappointed to find ourselves in a position whereby we are criticised for failing to meet National Minimum Wage requirements.”

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