THE family of a dead restaurant owner have been left “humiliated” after he was “named and shamed” as a bad employer by the government.
Abdul Muslim, who owned the Light of India restaurant in Oban, Argyll and Bute, died of kidney failure in June this year.
Now – almost two months after his death – the UK government have listed him as owing one worker £927.60, after not paying them the minimum wage.
His family claim the allegation is false, and have said the government are humiliating them and damaging the business that Mr Muslim built up over 34 years.
Mr Muslim’s son has said that his father always paid staff the legal minimum wage and regularly held charity events at his restaurant.
Mr Muslim Junior said: “I don’t know why they are saying this. My dad did a lot of charity work.
“He was a well respected man and to say this is wrong. I am surprised but what can I do?
“This is my dad’s business which was established over 34 years. He always did everything legally. I don’t know why they are trying to humiliate us. It is bad for business.”
A spokesman for the government’s department for business, energy and industrial strategy, said: “We sincerely apologise to the proprietor’s family for any distress caused, we were unaware he had recently passed away.”
In total, 22 Scottish businesses are recorded on the government’s 198-strong list of companies that have failed to pay staff the minimum wage.
Many of the Scottish businesses have hit out at the list, and claim they have already repaid the money that the government’s document records them as having owed.
A spokesman for Edinburgh-based K Construction, who are listed as having owed £1,916.61 to two workers, said: “K Construction is an accredited living wage employer meaning the starting wage for all trainees is £8.50 not the national minimum wage of £7.20.
“An administrative error meant that two apprentices did not receive the correct hourly rate for their age, but instead received the standard apprentice pay rate which is set by the CITB.
“When this error was identified, we backdated all the wages to the appropriate rate, and both employees were reimbursed fully as soon as the total was calculated.”
Sandy Milne, Director of Fisher and Donaldson bakers, who are recorded as owing £574.32 to 6 workers, said: “More than a year ago six members of staff were found to have been paid at an hourly rate a few pence below the minimum wage, over a 52 week period; this was a clerical error on our part.
“These employees were recompensed in full as soon as this was brought to our attention and most continue their employment with our firm.”
Commenting on the number of Scottish businesses named on the list, a Scottish government spokeswoman said: “These figures are unacceptable as every employee across Scotland should be entitled to a fair level of pay, and employers should comply with employment law.”