Edinburgh businesses named and shamed for underpaying workers

Cafe Cockburn has been in contact with HMRC and resolved the issue.  Picture: Neil Hanna
Cafe Cockburn has been in contact with HMRC and resolved the issue. Picture: Neil Hanna

A HAIRDRESSER and a café have been named and shamed for underpaying staff in the Capital.

The two businesses – MCM Hairdressing and Café Cockburn– were among companies to appear on a list of national minimum and living wage offenders.

A total of 360 businesses were included on the list, the longest of its kind to have been published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

It revealed that Longreef Ltd, trading as MCM Hairdressing in Union Street, underpaid one employee £1311.91.

Meanwhile Mr Vahap Firat, trading as Café Cockburn, was also named for not paying one of his workers £398.70.

Overall the list found some 15,520 staff members across the UK had been underpaid a total of £995,233, with employers in the hairdressing, hospitality and retail sectors the most prolific offenders.

Vahap Firat, manager of Café Cockburn, said the £398.70 sum related to an employee who only worked at the café for two months and had since left the company.

He said they had been in contact with HMRC but that the issue had been resolved, saying it had been agreed no penalties would be enforced.

He added: “Otherwise everyone gets national minimum wage and more than that. It was very sad for us as well.”

No-one from MCM 
Hairdressing was available for comment.

The hourly rate for the minimum wage depends on a person’s age and whether they are an apprentice.

To get the National Minimum Wage, recipients must be at least school-leaver age, with the National Living Wage coming into play for those aged 25 and over.

Business minister Margot James said it was important to make sure minimum wage abuse did not get overlooked.

She said: “Every worker in the UK is entitled to at least the national minimum or living wage and this government will ensure they get it.

“That is why we have named and shamed more than 350 employers who failed to pay the legal minimum, sending the clear message to employers that minimum wage abuses will not go unpunished.”

As well as recovering arrears for some of the UK’s lowest paid workers, HMRC also issued penalties worth around £800,000.

For the first time, the UK government’s naming and shaming list includes employers
who failed to pay eligible workers at least the new National Living Wage rate, which currently stands at £7.20 for workers aged 25 and over.

Lord Dunlop, UK government minister for Scotland, said: “There are simply no excuses for employers who fail to play by the rules and pay employees what they are 
entitled to.

“We are committed to building an economy that works for everyone, and will ensure that everybody receives the National Living Wage.”