Pizza Hut and St Johnstone ‘among worst employers in Scotland’ shamed by HMRC after ‘failing to pay minimum wage’

PIZZA Hut have been named and shamed by tax bosses who claim they’re the worst employer in Scotland for failing to pay staff the minimum wage.

HMRC chiefs allege the restaurant chain short-changed 10,980 workers in Edinburgh by a total of £845,936.41.


HMRC allege Pizza Hut are Scotland’s worst for failing to pay minimum wage

And St Johnstone FC were rapped for underpaying 28 workers by £14,266.74, it’s claimed.

Pizza Hut’s alleged shortcomings come in at roughly £77 per person, whereas the claim against the Perth side averages more than £500 for each worker.

The pizza giants and the Saints were two of 15 Scots businesses named by the UK Government but both insist they resolved the wage problems when they came to light.

St Johnstone are claimed to have short-changed 28 staff an average of more than £500 each


St Johnstone are claimed to have short-changed 28 staff an average of more than £500 each

All of the firms were served a notice of underpayment between September 2016 and July 2018.

They were ordered to pay back wages to workers at the current rate as well as facing fines.

The UK Government’s Business Minister Paul Scully said: “Paying the minimum wage is not optional, it is the law. It is never acceptable for any employer to short-change their workers.

“This should serve as a wake-up call to named employers and a reminder to everyone of the importance of paying workers what they are legally entitled to.”

Pizza Hut bosses said the underpayment related to an error in a “historic uniform policy”.

A spokesman added: “Several years ago, HMRC made us aware of an error relating to a historic uniform policy.

It’s important to stress there was never any intent to underpay our employees

Pizza Hut

“In 2018, we completed a wage adjustment for current and former employees working closely with HMRC to understand who was eligible.

“It’s important to stress there was never any intent to underpay our employees. We’re confident that the necessary processes have been fixed to ensure that this will not happen again.”

St Johnstone added: “Twenty-five of the 28 employees were apprentice footballers.

“Due to the absence of written evidence to support our position in relation to hours worked as opposed to the actual rate of pay, the club was unable to disprove HMRC’s estimate of the average hours worked per week by these employees.

“The hours of work undertaken by our apprentices was fully reviewed and changes were implemented immediately following HMRC’s outcome.

“The club prides itself in treating our staff fairly and we are extremely disappointed to find ourselves in a position whereby we are criticised.”

The ‘naming and shaming’ scheme, resumed after a two-year gap, found 139 UK firms probed from 2016 to 2018 failed to pay £6.7million to over 95,000 workers.

The main cause of minimum wage breaches was low-paid employees being made to cover work costs including paying for uniform, training or parking fees.

The current minimum hourly rate is £8.72 for over-25s, £8.20 for 21-24, £6.45 for 18-20, £4.55 for under-18s and £4.15 for apprentices.

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