Some 62 hospitality firms have been "named and shamed" by the government for underpaying the National Minimum Wage and Living Wage, as one business operator said he felt the sector was being "particularly targeted" by the authorities.
The government regularly identifies those firms it claims have not paid their employees what they were due and in this, the 13th round of the exercise, a total of 260 firms were named.
The UK hospitality industry accounted for 9.4% (£159,882) of the overall back pay owed, which totalled £1.7m.
Those featured on the list released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) today include four-AA-silver-starred Ramside Hall in County Durham which failed to pay £17,536.59 to eight workers.
John Adamson, managing director of Ramside Estates, which operates the venue, said he felt that the "hospitality industry is being particularly targeted" after inspectors did not accept the hotel's explanation for apparently paying below minimum wage.
"We have always paid our staff the minimum wage. Because of the clocking in issue it seemed as if the chefs' hourly rate was below the minimum wage, which in reality was not the case. We pointed this out to the inspectors, but they did not accept our explanation. It does seem that we are being made a scapegoat in this instance.
"To ensure this situation does not arise again, our contracts of employment now allow people who work more than a 48-hour week to be reimbursed, although this is challenging for the hospitality industry where long hours have always been the norm."
Other operators named include the five-AA-starred Manor House hotel, Wiltshire, owned by Exclusive Hotels and Resorts, which failed to pay £4,613.85 to nine workers.
A spokesperson for Manor House explained that the hotel had "fallen short" due to a "technicality around deposits taken for accommodation and uniforms" which were refunded to employees before inspections.
They added: "We always pay all our permanent employees an hourly rate well above the National Minimum Wage, irrespective of age. We have, in very few cases, charged a rent for limited period that was over the agreed bandings.
"It is hugely distressing to us that the inspectors are using technicalities to criticise many respectable companies alongside those that are genuinely paying less than minimum wage. We are confident that we have made adjustments to contracts and our live-in accommodation depositing systems that means this will not be an issue for us in the future.
"We have been praised by the inspectors for the speed of our response in adjusting our administration procedures to not fall foul of the technicalities."
The four-AA-starred Bedruthan hotel in Cornwall was also on the list for failing to pay £14,215.61 to 22 workers.
A spokesperson for Bedruthan hotel said the company fell foul of the "complex" National Wage rules due to "technical underpayments rather than actual underpayments."
The spokesperson continued: "Red Hotels [the firm that operates the hotel] pays hourly pay rates above the national minimum wage for all employees, regardless of age. In our case, some live-in employees requested services like meals to be taken directly from their wages. We did not realise that according to HMRC rules this technically took their pay below the national minimum wage, and meant employees should be reimbursed. Had the employees paid cash for those same services, the legislation would not have been breached. The arrangement was put in place to help our live-in staff at their request and we had checked the HMRC website but had misunderstood the correct way of handling payments. We have had the correct systems in place since 2015, and have apologised and reimbursed everyone we have been able to trace."
All employers identified had arrears of £100 or over and had been issued a Notice of Underpayment (NoU).
Business minister Margot James said: "There is no excuse for not paying staff the wages they're entitled to and the government will come down hard on businesses that break the rules.
"That's why today we are naming hundreds of employers who have been short changing their workers; and to ensure there are consequences for their wallets as well as their reputation, we've levied millions in back pay and fines."
Since 2013, £8m has been identified in back pay for 58,000 workers, with 1,500 employers fined a total of £5 million.
This year the government will spend what is says is a record £25.3 million on minimum wage enforcement.
Rates are due to rise again in April 2018 to £7.83 an hour.
The current minimum wage rates are (per hour): £7.05 for 21 to 24-year-olds; £5.60 for 18 to 20-year olds; £4.05 per hour for 16 to 17-year-olds; and £3.50 per hour or apprentices under 19, or over 19 and in the first year of an apprenticeship.
See the full list of hospitality businesses below:
- Mr Percy John Puddepha, Mrs Rosemary Puddepha, Mr Brian Puddepha and Ms Diana Puddepha trading as the Pines Hotel, Purbeck BH19, failed to pay £20,557.68 to 15 workers.
- Ramside Estates Limited, County Durham DH1, failed to pay £17,536.59 to eight workers.
- Bedruthan Hotel Limited, Cornwall TR8, failed to pay £14,215.61 to 22 workers.
- Bournemouth Brewing Group Limited, Poole BH17, failed to pay £11,387.84 to one worker.
- Willerby Manor Hotels Limited, East Riding of Yorkshire HU10, failed to pay £10,133.13 to 37 workers.
- Headlam Leisure Limited trading as Headlam Hall Hotel, County Durham DL2, failed to pay £9,157.42 to eight workers.
- Low Wood Hotel (1958) Limited trading as Low Wood Bay, South Lakeland LA23, failed to pay £7,341.25 to 34 workers.
- Craydawn Pendley Manor Limited trading as Pendley Manor Hotel, Dacorum HP23, failed to pay £6,048.74 to four workers.
- Mobeen Restaurant and Takeaway Limited, Waltham Forest E10, failed to pay £5,433.99 to one worker.
- The New Ocean Hotel Limited, North Somerset BS23, failed to pay £5,206.33 to 11 workers.
- Y & V Partners Limited trading as Imperial Oriental, Redbridge IG7, failed to pay £5,027.34 to two workers.
- Northumberland Hotel LLP trading as the Northumberland Hotel, Edinburgh EH16, failed to pay £4,685.39 to two workers.
- The Manor House Hotel (Castle Combe) Limited trading as the Manor House Hotel & Golf Club, Wiltshire SN14, failed to pay £4,613.85 to nine workers.
- GST Partners trading as the Five Bells, St Edmundsbury CO10, failed to pay £3,574.18 to two workers.
- A Consultancy Services Limited trading as the Fallowfield Lodge, Manchester M14, failed to pay £2,995.41 to seven workers.
- The Bear & Pheasant Limited, Stafford ST17, failed to pay £2,975.25 to one worker.
- Methodist Holiday Hotels Limited trading as Raven Hall Hotel, Scarborough YO13, failed to pay £2,754.57 to five workers.
- Pizza Inn Wembley Ltd., Brent HA0, failed to pay £1,824.38 to one worker.
- Few Inns Limited trading as the Boot Inn, West Oxfordshire OX29, failed to pay £1,820.07 to one worker.
- Gisburne Park Estates Limited trading as Ribblesdale Park, Ribble Valley BB7, failed to pay £1,792.17 to one worker.
- Ambleside Inns Limited trading as the Alexandra, East Riding of Yorkshire HU18, failed to pay £1,741.78 to two workers.
- Subway South Limited trading as Subway, Bournemouth BH9, failed to pay £1,361.38 to two workers.
- Lavender House (Ashburton) Limited trading as Lavender House Hhtel, Teignbridge TQ13, failed to pay £1,220.24 to one worker.
- AEH Hotels Limited trading as The Manor at Sway Hotel & Restaurant, New Forest SO41 failed to pay £1,165.72 to two workers.
- Whelan HotelCo Limited trading as the Wrightington Hotel and Country Club, West Lancashire WN6, failed to pay £1,142.32 to 19 workers.
- May's @ The Hollybush Ltd trading as the Hollybush Inn, East Ayrshire KA6, failed to pay £935.81 to one worker.
- Arran Brew Ltd, North Ayrshire KA27, failed to pay £872.77 to two workers.
- The Trouville Hotel LLP trading the Trouvile Hotel, Bournemouth BH2, failed to pay £781.51 to 11 workers.
- Budock Vean Hotel Limited, Cornwall TR11, failed to pay £765.58 to one worker.
- Grayshott Leisure Limited trading as Grayshott Spa (under previous ownership), East Hampshire GU26, failed to pay £733.87 to six workers.
- Alderforce North Limited trading as KFC, Brent HA9, failed to pay £699.79 to 23 workers.
- Mrs Arusha Korrin and Mr Anush Prem Korrin trading as Café Loco Shrub Hill, Worcester WR4, failed to pay £697.25 to four workers.
- Rothwell & Robertson Limited trading as Ye Olde Bull's Head Inn, Isle of Anglesey LL58, failed to pay £627.53 to one worker.
- Mr Keith David Fearn trading as the Monaco hotel, Merton BS23, failed to pay £607.76 to one worker.
- Gordon Hotels Limited trading as the Queens hotel, Bournemouth BH1, failed to pay £534.18 to three workers.
- LFH (Woolley Grange) Limited trading as Woolley Grange hotel, Wiltshire BA15, failed to pay £469.14 to one worker.
- Tims Lamama Ltd trading as La Mama Café Restaurant, Wigan WN6, failed to pay £458.31 to one worker.
- Punjabi Sweets & Curry House Ltd, Sandwell B66, failed to pay £446.95 to three workers.
- Took Us A Long Time Limited trading as Wildwood Restaurant, Chester CW9, failed to pay £427.39 to two workers.
- Mr Phillip Johnson, Mrs Jeanette Johnson and Mr Roddy Patterson trading as the Railway Inn, Salford M44, failed to pay £419.78 to one worker.
- Gonzales (SR) Limited, Bolton BL4, failed to pay £382.05 to one worker.
- Rissco Foods Limited, Sandwell B66, failed to pay £368.81 to four workers.
- Balfour Evans Catering Ltd trading as the Queens At Belbroughton, Bromsgrove DY9, failed to pay £290.51 to one worker.
- Cotswold Inns and Hotels Limited, Wychavon WR11, failed to pay £281.58 to one worker.
- Greenwood Fryery Limited, Warrington WA1, failed to pay £276.81 to one worker.
- Mr Patrick Courtney and Mrs Patricia Courtney trading as Courtneys Sandwich Bar, Newry, Mourne and Down BT34, failed to pay £267.58 to three workers.
- Mr Stephen Gomes trading as Moksh, Cardiff CF10, failed to pay £263.22 to two workers.
- Springfield Country hotel (Stoborough) Limited, Purbeck BH20, failed to pay £262.55 to one worker.
- Alim Caterers Limited trading as KFC, Hillingdon HA4, failed to pay £253.44 to three workers.
- Athena (SW) Limited trading as Athena, Wiltshire SN15, failed to pay £251.69 to one worker.
- Vale Holiday Parks Limited, Ceredigion SY23, failed to pay £213.38 to two workers.
- Aja Lounge Ltd Crown & Pepper, Croydon CR0, failed to pay £188.47 to two workers.
- Creations Desserts Ltd trading as Creation Dessert Lounge, Peterborough PE1, failed to pay £174.14 to two workers.
- Mrs Nathalie Zabbal trading as the Newbridge, Wolverhampton WV6, failed to pay £170.67 to one worker.
- RU Hungry Ltd trading as Pizza Hut Delivery, Stockton-on-Tees TS18, failed to pay £156.35 to one worker.
- Perfect10247 Ltd trading as Papa Johns, Birmingham B5 failed to pay £146.39 to six workers.
- Irqa Spicy Food Ltd trading as Nosheen Tandoori, Aberdeenshire AB41, failed to pay £140.07 to four workers.
- Lakeview Manor Ltd, East Devon EX14, failed to pay £138.91 to two workers.
- Brittons Caterers Limited, Birmingham B6, failed to pay £124.78 to one worker.
- Akbar Balti (Manchester) Limited, Manchester M3, failed to pay £123.90 to one worker.
- CGB Oldham Limited trading as Chadderton Bar & Grill, Oldham OL9, failed to pay £111.76 to one worker.
- Six Five Zero Limited trading as Vivo Hotel Apartments, Bradford BD17, failed to pay £104.40 to one worker.
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