Pret A Manger has been ‘named and shamed' by the government along with 190 other businesses for breaking National Minimum Wage law.
The company was found to have failed to pay £9,679.91 to 33 workers. A spokesperson said the group had since made all the required payments to the team members and HMRC and that it was a "unique case" which, in 2019, saw team members opt to allocate some of their salary in exchange for childcare vouchers as part of a voluntary salary sacrifice scheme. This "inadvertently caused remuneration to fall below minimum levels".
Following investigations by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, a total of £2.1m was found to be owed to more than 34,000 workers across the entire list. The breaches took place between 2011 and 2018. Named employers have since been made to pay back what they owed and were fined an additional £3.2m.
Minimum wage breaches can occur when workers are being paid on or just above the minimum wage rate and have deductions from their pay for uniform or accommodation, which the government said made up 47% of cases. Of the companies, 30% failed to pay workers for the time they had worked, such as overtime, and 19% paid the incorrect apprenticeship rate.
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.
"This government will continue to protect workers' rights vigilantly, and employers that short-change workers won't get off lightly."
The government paused the ‘name and shame' list in 2018 to undertake a review of its effectiveness. In February 2020 the government announced that the scheme would resume, with some changes.
The hospitality firms named on the list included:
- Pret A Manger (Europe), Westminster, SW1E, failed to pay £9,679.91 to 33 workers
- TAFS Foods, trading as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Waltham Forest, E10, failed to pay £5,257.84 to 294 workers
- Northcote hotel, Ribble Valley, BB6, failed to pay £2,949.33 to 16 workers
- Harbour Havens, trading as Kildonan hotel, North Ayrshire, KA27, failed to pay £2,478.12 to four workers
- Willow Catering, Liverpool, L9, failed to pay £2,364.66 to one worker
- Hotel MK, trading as DoubleTree by Hilton Milton Keynes, MK1, failed to pay £1,552.07 to 12 workers
- Dunkeld House hotel, Perth and Kinross Council, PH8, failed to pay £1,322.08 to eight workers
- Wentbridge House, trading as Wentbridge House hotel, Wakefield, WF8, failed to pay £1,177.98 to 47 workers
- Total Catering Solutions Recruitment, trading as TCS Recruitment, Leicester, LE2, failed to pay £1,042.14 to 104 workers
- Mrs Jennifer Riley and Mr Andrew Riley, trading as the Tyndrum Inn, Stirling, FK20, failed to pay £844.84 to one worker
- Mrs Mozdeh Bandar and Miss Natalie Mahryar Bandar, trading as All in One Takeaway, Brighton and Hove, BN1, failed to pay £822.15 to one worker
- Fishmore Hall hotel, Shropshire, SY8, failed to pay £690.22 to eight workers
- Cavalier Country Club, trading as Holdsworth House hotel, Calderdale, HX2, failed to pay £601.92 to one worker
- Epicure Bar and Kitchen (liquidation 15 January 2020), Kirklees, HD1, failed to pay £530.56 to three workers
See the full list here.