Two IT retailers have been named and shamed by the government for failing to pay certain staff the minimum wage.
Bolton-based PCC UK, trading as We Love Laptops, and Cornwall firm Printer Cartridge Supplies made a list of 115 UK companies which failed to pay their staff the minimum wage, which was released today by the government.
A similar list is published regularly by the government in an effort to "name and shame" offending companies.
We Love Laptops provides laptop repair services to businesses, schools and individuals and on its website claims to work closely with the likes of HP and RM.
According to the government list, it neglected to pay £1,079.07 to three workers.
We Love Laptops' director Urmash Fatania told CRN:
"We took somebody from the Job Centre. They weren't employed with us, they wanted training with us. For some reason, HMRC thought because he is with you guys, he's an employee. So I said to HMRC, he's not an employee - there's no contract. But as far as they're concerned, because he was with us, he's an employee - pay him! That's the bottom line. We're not going to take anyone from the Job Centre ever again.
"I thought ‘I'll help you out, we'll train you'. But he flipped the coin and said ‘I'm an employee' and reported us to HMRC for not paying him. But we weren't going to pay him in the first place!"
Printer Cartridge Solutions is an online printer and consumables retailer and the government claims it failed to pay £1,096.19 to one worker.
The company told CRN the situation arose following an admin error with a local college concerning an apprentice they had taken on.
"We don't agree with what's happened," said its director Peggy Bauch.
The national minimum wage for adults over the age of 21 is currently £6.70 per hour. For those aged between 18 and 20, the rate is £5.30 an hour and 16 and 17 year olds are paid a minimum of £3.87 an hour. Apprentices can earn a minimum of £3.30 per hour.
Some 115 companies popped up on the list and between them, they were £389,000 in arrears. Since the name-and-shame scheme was introduced in October 2013, 400 employers have been blacklisted, with total arrears of more than £1m.
Business minister Nick Boles said: "Employers that fail to pay the minimum wage hurt the living standards of the lowest paid and their families."
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