Hartlepool garage boss says underpaying staff was a genuine mistake

John Redgrave says failing to pay apprentices the minimum wage was a mistake.
John Redgrave says failing to pay apprentices the minimum wage was a mistake.

The owner of a Hartlepool business named as one of 75 in the country that failed to pay the minimum wage says he has been left “aggrieved” by the whole situation.

John Redgrave, owner of JRM Motors in Stockton Road, says it was a genuine mistake that he fell foul of the new changes that had come into force.

This wasn’t a deliberate act. It was a genuine mistake

John Redgrave

He had taken on an apprentice from Hartlepool College of Further Education as he had done for the past 30 years without any issue.

However, during the course of the scheme his apprentice turned 21 which made him eligible for a higher wage.

When the issue came to light six months later, Mr Redgrave set about making the changes to his pay.

A second apprentice had left the company to join the Navy and had been owed two weeks at the higher amount - which was in the process of being sorted.

Mr Redgrave, who had neglected to pay £2,500 in total last year, said: “This wasn’t a deliberate act. I have taken on apprentices for 30 years and never had any problems.

“I’ve got one lad working for me now who started as an apprentice. This was a genuine mistake, as soon as I was made aware of it, I put it right. But by then I had been caught.

“It’s left me aggrieved as there was no support from anyone. I won’t be taking on anymore apprentices now.”