STV: Tycoon Stefan King's G1 Group failed to pay minimum wage to 2900 staff

Tycoon Stefan King's G1 Group has been named and shamed for not paying minimum wage to almost 3000 workers.

The figures were revealed in a league table released by business minister Jo Swinson, in which firms are highlighted for failure to pay staff the national minimum wage.

G1 were cited at the top of the table for neglecting to pay national minimum wage totalling £45,124 to 2895 employees.

Mr King's leisure empire includes nightclubs, bars and off-licenses across the west of Scotland, including the Corinthian Club and Arta restaurant in Glasgow.

Business minister Jo Swinson on Tuesday named G1 among 48 employers who have failed to pay their workers the national minimum wage.

Between them, the companies named owe workers over £162,000 in arrears, and span sectors including fashion, publishing, hospitality, health and fitness, automotive, care, and retail.

A spokesman for G1 Group said it on "some occasions" asked employees to "make a small contribution towards the cost of workwear or training".

He said this contributed to some workers earnings falling below the national minimum wage but added they no longer enforce these charges.

The spokesman said: "G1 Group are one of Scotland’s largest leisure group employers, and have previously been awarded the Gold Status Investors In People Award.

"We are extremely focused on the protection, training and development of our staff, from junior roles on National Minimum Wage all the way through to Senior Management Levels.

"A fundamental part of this process is our annual pay scale reviews- ensuring our employees are always paid in accordance with minimum wage guidelines.

"On some occasions, we have asked our employees to make a small contribution towards the cost of workwear or training to enhance their career performance.

"We understand that in effect, this has previously brought some employees marginally below the minimum wage in some pay periods. For this reason, we no longer apply these deductions, and any associated repayments have been made in light of this issue being highlighted."

Ms Swinson said: "There’s no excuse for companies that don’t pay staff the wages they’re entitled to – whether by wilfully breaking the law, or making irresponsible mistakes.

"The Government is protecting workers by cracking down on employers who ignore minimum wage rules.

"In addition to naming and shaming, we’ve increased the penalty fines and boosted the resources available to investigate non-compliance."

The 48 cases named on Tuesday were thoroughly investigated by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The government scheme to name employers who break minimum wage law came into effect in January 2011 and is one of a range of tools at the government’s disposal to tackle this issue.

A statement from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills added: "Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage not only have to pay back arrears of wages at current minimum wage rates but also face financial penalties of up to £20,000.

"In the most serious cases employers can be prosecuted."

 

This article appeared on STV's website.