The taxman has warned restaurateurs that do not keep clear wage records that they will be prosecuted under national minimum wage laws.
The warning came after the owner of an Indian restaurant in Nottingham was fined £3,500 for breaches of the minimum wage.
Zaheer Iqbar Ibrahim, proprietor of the Jewel in the Crown restaurant, was convicted of failing to produce documents required under the National Minimum Wage Act during a hearing before Nottingham magistrates.
He failed to appear in court to answer the charges.
Andy Millican, criminal investigation team leader for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), said that restaurants paying below the minimum wage were now being targeted by compliance officers.
He added: "This sentencing sends a clear message to employers, large or small, that HMRC will actively pursue those we suspect of flouting national minimum wage law. If employers prevent HMRC officers from checking staff records and refuse to comply with the law they could receive a fine and a criminal record."
By Andrew Smith
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