Worksop: Business owner hits back at being ‘named and shamed’ over pay

Vape, Newcastle Avenue, Worksop.
Vape, Newcastle Avenue, Worksop.

The owner of a Worksop business which was ‘named and shamed’ for not paying the National Minimum Wage (NMW) has said he has been left ‘saddened’ by the outcome.

Electronic cigarette company, Vape Ltd, Newcastle Avenue, was outed by business minister Nick Boles as having neglected to pay a total of £692.55 to one worker.

The company was named by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as one of 75 businesses in the country which owe £153,000 in arrears between them.

Manager of the store, Mark Wilks, told the Guardian: “We have never paid any employee below the National Minimum Wage and were confused when this allegation was brought to light by the Guardian.

“After further investigation with HMRC, we discovered that this was due to a complaint from a member of staff last year that has now been resolved.

“We withheld their final wage due to the breach of contract and unprofessional manner in which they left.

“The incident was fully investigated by HMRC and the employee was paid what they were owed.

“We are saddened because of this employee’s actions that we have now been highlighted as a business who owed money to an employee as we have never acted unfairly towards any of our employees.”

The findings, which were announced on Thursday, July 30, brings the total number of companies ‘named and shamed’ under the scheme, which was introduced in October 2013, to 285 employers, with total arrears of over £788,000 and total penalties of over £325,000.

The scheme was revised in October 2013 to make it simpler to highlight employers that do not comply with minimum wage rules.

The current NMW for adults is £6.50 per hour. It will increase to £6.70 on October 1.

Mr Boles said: “As a one nation government on the side of working people we are determined that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage receives it.

“When the new National Living Wage is introduced next April we will enforce robustly. This means that the hard-working people of the UK will get the pay rise they deserve.”