THE Scottish TUC called on the government yesterday to take legal action against employers after more than a dozen Scottish firms were named for failing to pay the minimum wage.
Sixteen Scottish companies owed 125 workers a staggering £29,611, according to figures released by the British government.
The worst offender was social care firm Crossroads Caring Scotland, which failed to pay a total of £17,685 to 40 staff.
Hospitality, retail and hairdressing companies featured heavily on the list, with Peacock Stores in Dumfries and Galloway owing 42 workers £2,256.
STUC assistant secretary Ian Tasker said it was “deeply concerning that many employers ignore their obligations.”
He called for care workers to be paid a living wage and urged Crossroads Caring Scotland “to deliver pay that lifts workers out of poverty and not increase financial worries.”
Mr Tasker also suggested that the government should prosecute companies that fail to pay, not just name and shame them.
Union Unite went one further, demanding that bosses should be jailed for not paying their staff the minimum wage.
“The fact that the government has mounted only 13 prosecutions for non-compliance since 2007 is pathetic,” said Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner.
“In America, bad bosses are jailed and heavily fined for ‘wage theft’ which is what this is, exploiting workers in such a shameful fashion.”
Across Britain, more than 350 companies were named and shamed for failing to pay the minimum or living wage.
More than 15,500 workers affected received back pay following the government’s probe.
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