Minimum wage prosecution leaves butcher with large bill

Another employer has fallen foul of the government’s crackdown on enforcing the National Minimum Wage.

The owners of a Sheffield butcher’s shop have been ordered to pay more than £11,000 to two former employees after they failed to pay the minimum wage. They are the first employers in the country to face criminal prosecution for deliberately not paying the National Minimum Wage.

David Jackson and his daughter Pauline Smout pleaded guilty to neglecting to pay two former employees the minimum rate, currently £5.52 per hour. Jackson and Smout also failed to keep adequate pay records, and had made false entries in the records they had kept.

Jackson was fined £700 plus costs, and ordered to pay £9,065 in compensation to the two former workers. Smout was fined £100 plus costs, and ordered to pay £2,009 in compensation – payable by 1 October 2008.

In sentencing, deputy district Judge Hatton said: “The appalling way you treated these employees meant that both [employees] lost out. The simple fact was that they are entitled to this money, and they will get it.”

Andy Millican, criminal investigation team leader for HM Revenue & Customs, said: “This sends a message to employers, large or small, that HMRC will actively pursue those we suspect of flouting the law. If employers fail to pay and refuse to comply with the law they could receive a fine and a criminal record.”

This is the fourth successful National Minimum Wage prosecution in the past 11 months.

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