A TOWN company has been included in a Government ‘list of shame’ for failing to pay a worker the national minimum wage.
QW Security Ltd, based on Hartlepool’s Longhill Industrial Estate, was named as one of 37 firms nationally by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills after the
security company allegedly neglected to pay £126.20 to a worker.
The case was investigated by HM Revenue & Customs after the worker complained to a confidential helpline.
But the firm’s boss yesterday said it was mystified by appearing on the list and stressed it would never knowingly pay staff less than the minimum wage.
Ian Harrison, a manager at QW Security Ltd, said: “We would definitely not pay anybody less than the minimum wage. We are so careful with it.
“The only thing I can think of is it is that maybe somebody has left the company without notice and in their terms and conditions their final wages would be withheld.”
The government names employers who failed to pay the national minimum wage and have been issued with a Notice of Underpayment.
The 37 businesses named owe workers over £177,000 in combined arrears and have been charged over £51,000 in fines.
They ranged from Kings Group LLP, in Hertfordshire, at the top of the list which neglected to pay £53,808 to 53 workers, to QW Security at the bottom.
Business Minister Jo Swinson said: “Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal, immoral and completely unacceptable. If employers break this law they need to know that we will take tough action by naming, shaming and fining them as well as helping workers recover the hundreds of thousands of pounds in pay owed to them.
“We are also looking at what more we can do to make sure workers are paid fairly in the first place.”
The Government has announced an extra £3 million towards its budget to enforce the payment of the minimum wage.
Employers who are unsure of national minimum wage rules can get free advice by calling 0800 917 2368 or by visiting www.gov.uk.