Expert Insight

UKHospitality Comments on National Minimum Wage ‘Named and Shamed’

UKHospitality has commented on the unfair inclusion of some hospitality companies in a Government list intended to name and shame businesses deemed to have infringed National Minimum Wage requirements.

The Government published the list of 139 companies, saying it was intended as “a wake up call” for companies breaching the rules. However, UKHospitality’s Chief Executive has said that the inclusion of companies who unintentionally infringed the frequently changing rules as harsh.

Kate Nicholls, awarded an OBE in the

New Year’s honours list for services to hospitality, said: “UKHospitality supports the national minimum wage for our sector’s valued workers and absolutely advocates that businesses uphold the law in this regard. However, there are some elements of the reintroduction of the naming and shaming that are unfair, unrepresentative and misleading.

“The rules around NMW are constantly evolving and businesses strive to keep up and to avoid technical breaches. Previously unclear criteria led to some unintended technical breaches, which were willingly and promptly rectified.

UKHospitality Reacts to Chancellor’s Financial Support Announcement

In response to the Chancellor’s announcement regarding further financial support for businesses, UKHospitality Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls, said; “This is obviously a very positive step to keep businesses afloat in the immediate term and, for that reason, must be welcomed. The Chancellor has rightly recognised the costs imposed on hospitality businesses by enforced closures and the need for additional support. It is also encouraging that the discretionary grants address

the suffering in the supply chains upon which our sector is reliant.

“However, while this announcement is most welcome, make no mistake that this is only a sticking plaster for immediate ills – it is not enough to even cover the costs of many businesses and certainly will not underpin longer-term business viability for our sector. To address the inevitable and existential challenges that hospitality faces, we need confirmation of

extensions to the business rates holiday and of the 5% VAT rate.

“On its own, this support is not enough. Businesses need a longer- term economic plan and it would befit the crisis that we face if the Chancellor brought forward his Budget to make the announcements necessary to reassure businesses and allow them to plan their survival. Commercial certainty cannot come soon enough and only the Chancellor can deliver it.”

The latest list includes data going back several years, so many companies that acted to address breaches in good faith find themselves the victims of unfair reporting of a historical problem.

“Many firms that acted properly to comply have been suddenly and unfairly been thrown an unwarranted slur on their reputation for no good reason. Hospitality continues to take the harshest battering of any sector under Covid restrictions – to add to our woes unjustifiably and without warning is an unnecessary kick in the teeth that the sector does not deserve.”

January 2021


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