Weston seafront hotel failed to pay employees minimum wage
- Credit: Archant
A Weston-super-Mare seafront hotel has been named and shamed by the Government for failing to pay staff the minimum wage.
The Mentone Hotel, in Knightstone Road, has been caught out in a report published on Friday.
The investigation found the two-star Mentone – owned by Tsaroullas family – failed to pay £209.44 to four workers in the 2015-2016 financial year.
The hotel, which is home to Nick’s Bar and Eatery, told the Mercury it ‘regretted this error’; blaming it on a technical fault and confirming staff members were recompensed ‘immediately’ when it was discovered.
Government business minister Andrew Griffiths said ‘there are no excuses for short-changing workers’.
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The report has been published one month before the minimum wage rises from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour next month, with the Government leading a crackdown on businesses failing to pay employees correctly.
Mr Griffiths added: “This is an absolute red line for this government and employers who cross it will get caught – not only are they forced to pay back every penny but they are also fined up to 200 per cent of wages owed.
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“Today’s naming round serves as a sharp reminder to employers to get their house in order ahead of minimum wage rate rises.”
A hotel spokesman said: “The directors acknowledge the failure of our payroll system as shown by an inspection of the payroll records by a member of the national minimum wage team.
“The failure was of a technical nature following the introduction of a new time recording system, linked to the payroll software.
“The fault was corrected immediately when it was pointed out to us and the staff members were paid the balancing amounts almost immediately; the amounts varied from pennies to a few pounds.
“We obviously regret this error has occurred.”
The report found the ‘most prolific offending’ firms were retailers, hospitality businesses and hairdressers, with 179 employers found to have underpaid staff a total of £1million.
Low Pay Commission chairman Bryan Sanderson said he is ‘pleased to see the Government maintaining the momentum of its minimum wage enforcement’ ahead of April’s increase.