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Wagamama and Marriott named and shamed for paying below minimum wage

Wagamama and Marriott Hotels have been named and shamed by the Government for underpaying minimum wage workers, as it identified 179 employers that had to repay ?1.1m to thousands of workers and fined them ?1.3m.
The British Japanese food chain was the worst offender, after it failed to pay ?133,212 to 2,630 minimum wage workers. Marriott Hotels came in second, failing to pay ?71,722.93 to 279 workers, while TGI Friday’s did not pay ?59,347.64 to 2,302 workers.
Since 2013, the scheme has identified more than ?9m in back pay for about 67,000 workers, and has fined 1,700 employers a total of ?6.3m. This year the Government will spend ?25.3m on minimum wage enforcement.
Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage must pay back arrears of wages to the worker at current minimum wage rates and also faces financial penalties of up to 200pc of arrears, capped at ?20,000 per worker.
The worst offending sectors on the most recent list were retailers, hospitality businesses and hairdressers.
The latest list, which is the 14th published by the Government, comes ahead of the a rate rise on April 1, when the National Living Wage will increase to ?7.83 per hour from ?7.50. Apprentices under the age of 19 and those in the first year of their apprenticeship will also get a 5.7pc pay increase.
Wagamama and Marriott named and shamed for paying below minimum wage

TGI Fridays was another offender named on the Government's list

Credit:
 BaxWalker Retail
Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: “There are no excuses for short-changing workers. This is an absolute red line for this Government.”
Thomas Heier, people director at Wagamama, said: “As an employer we have always paid minimum wage and make sure that our staff receive 100pc of their tips. This was an inadvertent misunderstanding of how the minimum wage regulations apply to uniforms and as soon as we were made aware of this in 2016 we acted immediately to correct the position."
A Marriott spokeswoman said: “Marriott is committed to compliance with the national minimum wage.  When an error was identified by a routine HMRC audit in 2015, we cooperated fully with HMRC and promptly reimbursed all those affected. We apologise to all our associates impacted by this error and have taken steps to ensure it cannot happen again.”
A TGI Fridays spokesperson said that the company “does pay" the national minimum wage hourly rate and that the total figure quoted the list "relates to reimbursing team members a shoe allowance".
"This is a historic payment which was paid last year, and we have since reimbursed team members for the purchase of their black uniform shoes.”
Wagamama was forced to apologise in December after it emerged that a manager had threatened staff with disciplinary action if they called in sick over Christmas.
A note on a rota on a London branch of the restaurant said: "No calling in sick! May I remind you that if you are unable to come for your shift it is your responsibility to find somebody to cover your shift (as per contract and handbook). Calling in sick during the next two weeks will result in disciplinary action being taken."
The chain said in a tweet it was an "isolated incident" and was "strictly not company employment policy".
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