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Gloucester business Your Lifestyle LLP contests inclusion on Minimum Wage name and shame list

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Written by: Peter McMillan | Posted 23 October 2015 14:58

Gloucester business Your Lifestyle LLP contests inclusion on Minimum Wage name and shame list

A Gloucester business included on a name and shame list of companies paying below the National Minimum Wage intends to contest its inclusion.

A partner in home care service Your Lifestyle said the list was “an unfair way of highlighting what in some cases are errors rather than something more sinister”, adding the company had overpaid employees.

Leo Bifulco was named together with Anthony Williamson, Salvatore Bifulco and Tracey Caswell, trading as Your Lifestyle LLP, for neglecting to pay £1,092.85 to 16 workers, according to the government’s business department.

Leo Bifulco said: “Our organisation has over 300 employees, with an annual payroll in the millions.

“The penalty for a payroll system error was £1,000 approximately and was payable as a result of accounts incorrectly deducting contracted payroll deductions from gross pay rather than net pay, rendering a number of staff to be slightly under the NMW [National Minimum Wage] on their final pay slip on one occasion.

“The actual net result to staff is that, in effect, they were actually paid too much remuneration rather than receiving less monies.

“So, although you could technically officially state we breached NMW regulations, the staff concerned did, in fact, receive all monies due and this would appear to be a very blunt instrument with far-reaching effects aimed for good reasons at some inappropriate employers, resulting in an unfair representation of minor errors that employers can naturally make from time to time.”

Mr Bifulco has sent the Citizen an email, dated February 26 this year from an HMRC National Minimum Wage compliance officer.

It states: “Thank you for sending me the information, i.e. copies of payslips and cheques etc.

“I will write to you early next week with the formal letter confirming closure of my enquiry.”

Bosses of Cheltenham’s Ellenborough Park Ltd, trading as Ellenborough Park Hotel, have put their inclusion among 115 businesses named on the list nationally down to a technical error.

Ellenborough Park neglected to pay £1,084.01 to a worker.

A spokesperson for Ellenborough Park said: “We have taken the recent complaint raised by a former employee seriously and acknowledge that due to an isolated transactional error and the timing of the overtime payment, this individual’s salary fell below the NMW on one occasion.

“As soon as the issue was raised, the mistake was rectified immediately. The matter is now closed and scrutiny has increased.”

Between them, the 115 companies named owed workers over £389,000 in arrears, across sectors including hairdressing, retail, education, catering and social care.

Business Minister Nick Boles said: “Employers that fail to pay the minimum wage hurt the living standards of the lowest paid and their families.

“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.”


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