Restaurant 'named and shamed' for not paying minimum wage
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An Essex restaurant has been "named and shamed" by the government after failing to pay five workers the minimum wage.
Albatta Restaurant — a trade name for Eat Food Limited — in Sir Isaac's Walk, Colchester, owes nearly £8,000 to five workers.
The restaurant, which did not respond to requests for comment, has had to pay back the employees and could be fined up to double what it owed each worker.
The firm is one 139 companies which have short-changed their employees.
Offending firms failed to pay £6.7 million to their workers, in a “completely unacceptable breach of employment law”, said the Business Department.
Major companies on the list include Tesco, Pizza Hut and Superdrug. Locally, Carbon Nightclub in Stowmarket has also been fined.
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The 139 named companies were investigated between 2016 and 2018 and found to have failed to pay £6.7 million to over 95,000 workers.
This is the first time the government has named and shamed companies for failing to pay the national minimum wage since 2018, following reforms to the process to ensure only the worst offenders are targeted.
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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, but it is especially disappointing to see huge household names who absolutely should know better on this list.
"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.
"Make no mistake, those who fail to follow minimum wage rules will be caught out and made to pay up."
Bryan Sanderson, chairman of the Low Pay Commission, said: "There can be no excuses for non-compliance with the minimum wage rates.
"The annual changes are well publicised 6 months in advance following a well understood process.
"Those affected are among the most needy and vulnerable in our country — the companies concerned should be deeply ashamed of their performance."