Businesses shame for wage breaches

Four Wigan businesses have been included in a Government list intended to name and shame firms not paying the minimum or living wage.

Thursday, 14th December 2017, 4:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th December 2017, 5:20 pm
Wrightington Country Club

Wrightington Hotel and Country Club, Sync Heating and Plumbing, La Mama Cafe Restaurant in Standish and The Hair and Beauty Co were all included in the 260 companies rapped by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The four businesses failed to pay more than £2,000, with a total of 23 workers ending up short changed.

However, a couple of the firms hit back at their inclusion in the list, saying naming them alongside more high-profile offenders did not reflect the circumstances.

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Whelan HotelCo, trading as the luxurious hotel, conference, dining and leisure facility, did not pay £1,142.32 it owed to 19 of its employees.

Mark Ghani from Hindley Green, who runs Sync Plumbing and Heating as a one-man operation, failed to pay one worker a total of £782.16.

Tims Lamama, which trades as the cafe and restaurant on High Street in Standish, left one worker out of pocket by £458.31 while The Hair and Beauty Company should have paid £140.48 to two staff members.

The inclusion of the latter business on the Government’s list sparked the ire of Joanne Hallam, who says the firm being referred to no longer exists and her concern in its old building on Wigan Road in Aspull is known as The Hair Beauty and Laser Company.

Ms Hallam said: “My business now is trading from the same premises but it’s a brand new limited company with different owners and directors.

“The Hair and Beauty Company doesn’t exist any more.” Ms Hallam said she understands the pay issue was around uniforms being provided to apprentices but she believes the matter has been resolved.

Mr Ghani also said a mix-up involving the terms and conditions of taking on an apprentice was the reason for his appearance on the list.

He admitted the contract he signed with a college to allow a young man to do work experience with him during his course did mention the pay arrangements but insists he was never properly informed of them.

Mr Ghani said the experience had left something of a bitter taste.

He said: “I got a letter from HMRC saying we weren’t paying the correct wage while he was at college. I was never aware I was liable for that and the contract was never explained. I’m not very happy about it. I thought I was doing someone a favour and I’ve been stung.

Approaches were made to La Mama and Wrightington Hotel and Country Club but neither provided a comment.

Well-known high street names, including Primark and Sports Direct, were included on the list.