THE landlord of The Bulls Head in Inkberrow has reacted with astonishment to his premises being named for not paying the minimum wage – because he brought the issue to the attention of the authorities himself.
The pub, famed for being the favoured watering hole of long-running Radio 4 soap opera The Archers, was one of 48 businesses ‘named and shamed’ in a news release from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills.
There it found itself in the company of firms which owed thousands of pounds to some of its employees.
The Bulls Head affair revolved around an outstanding £580.95 due to three members of staff.
“This is very unfair.” said landlord Wies Nowacki, “particularly as we raised this matter ourselves with the department concerned.”
He explained that, with the government pushing apprenticeships, he had taken one on but the person in question had proved unsuitable.
“It wasn’t working out.” said Mr Nowacki, “and in the end it was decided to terminate the agreement by mutual consent.
“At the same time we had two people working for us part-time who were 20 when we took them on but who didn’t tell us when they turned 21, which affected their pay.
“When someone came to see us about the apprentice I mentioned this other matter to her.
“In the end we decided to pay the apprentice in full to close the issue and as soon as we were aware of the other two employees we paid them in full too.”
The current national minimum wage rates are: Adult rate (21 and over) – £6.50 per hour, 18 to 20-year-olds – £5.13 per hour, 16 to 17-year-olds – £3.79 per hour, apprentice rate – £2.73 per hour.