Mitchell’s and Vic owner failed to pay minimum wage to almost 3,000 staff

8
Photo credit: Sammi McKee

G1, the group that owns six of St Andrews’ most popular bars and restaurants, has topped a list of UK employers who failed to pay workers the national minimum wage.

The group, which owns Forgan’s, Mitchell’s, the Vic, the Dolls House, the Grill House and the Glass House, was revealed not to have paid minimum wage to almost 3,000 workers.

G1, which is owned by Stefan King and includes a large number of bars and restaurants in Glasgow, neglected to pay minimum wage totalling £45,124 to 2895 employees.

The figures were published today in a report by business minister Jo Swinson which named and shamed 48 companies that failed to pay staff the national minimum wage.

A G1 spokesperson told reporters: “G1 Group are one of Scotland’s largest leisure group employers, and have previously been awarded the Gold Status Investors In People Award.

“We are extremely focused on the protection, training and development of our staff, from junior roles on National Minimum Wage all the way through to Senior Management Levels.

“A fundamental part of this process is our annual pay scale reviews- ensuring our employees are always paid in accordance with minimum wage guidelines.

“On some occasions, we have asked our employees to make a small contribution towards the cost of workwear or training to enhance their career performance.

“We understand that in effect, this has previously brought some employees marginally below the minimum wage in some pay periods. For this reason, we no longer apply these deductions, and any associated repayments have been made in light of this issue being highlighted.”

Business Minister Jo Swinson said: “There’s no excuse for companies that don’t pay staff the wages they’re entitled to – whether by wilfully breaking the law, or making irresponsible mistakes.

“The government is protecting workers by cracking down on employers who ignore minimum wage rules. In addition to naming and shaming, we’ve increased the penalty fines and boosted the resources available to investigate non-compliance.”

8 COMMENTS

  1. I know a number of people who were mistreated at The Vic. One friend was left by herself to clean the venue from 1am to 4:30am, having already worked an evening shift. There was a clear attempt to cut costs at the expense of employee welfare. She left after 2 weeks and wasn’t paid for her efforts.

    This from a venue with extortionate drink prices, hired thugs as door staff, and a little weasel of a manager scuttling round.

  2. When I worked for them, back during the renovation, I was paid under minimum wage per hour and we we were forced to clean until 4.30am despite our pay stopping at 2am. A disgusting company and I hope they receive severe punishment for their behaviour. Similar to the above, I too did not receive my final months wages. This was despite me working the required notice.

  3. Worked for them and wouldn’t have a single good thing to say about them. Was owed a couple hundred in holiday pay which the manager at the time had embezzled. Once he was fired I contacted the company hundreds of times, being told on each occasion that there was nothing they could do. Also pay stopped at 230, was forced to work while sick (physically ill, completely illegal under health and safety laws alone)

    Hence why I boycott the fuck out of them in every instance I can!

  4. A consumer boycott will have far less impact than making sure you join a union, and supporting the right of others to do so too. There are various unions that offer membership for students and casual work. They will offer you far more assistance than the university, who from experience is more worried about upsetting business than representing its students (especially if that business is a famous golf hotel…).

    So please don’t kid yourself that political activism is buying a coffee from Taste instead of the Vic. It won’t work and I doubt you’ll be missed. There’s clearly enough dickheads about to keep it in business considering its relatively recent twee-corporate-idea-of-what-hip-young-people-think-is-cool renovation didn’t result in immediate bankruptcy.

    Workers of the world unite etc. etc.

    • I don’t think that joining a union is a realistic solution to this problem, particularly for casual student workers. There are many non-exploitative part-time jobs available in this town, that will pay a fair wage and give one the opportunity to be treated with respect. It is almost certainly beneficial to raise awareness of the, by all accounts, appalling working environment at G1-owned venues for those who may be considering applying for a position there, and for those who may not know the history.

      The fact is that a boycott of venues such as the Vic will hurt them. It is likely that many already engage in some form of ‘tacit boycott’ of these places, but a more organised movement is needed. It is an indisputable fact that the Vic relies on the student market to stay open. They are trying their utmost to tap into the students psyche by cosying up to student societies, and their approach is failing. The fact it, the place needs tried and tested and, most importantly, recognisable ‘nights’ in order to stay open. In the absence of such events, drink prices have shot up and the place is empty most of the time. On top of this, their failure to employ enough staff has led to slow service, and the attitude of the bar staff gives great insight into the way they themselves are treated.

      The Vic may be owned by G1, but it is run as an independent venue, and G1 certainly won’t prop up a failing business. The fewer people that choose to work there and the fewer people that go there, the faster change will occur.

      I have no affiliation with the Union, but it is a shining example of how to operate a venue in this town. They treat their staff with respect, pay them a fair wage, and employ enough staff. This comes across in the level of service. The drinks are low in price and they still turn a profit.

      The fact is, The Vic are running scared of the Union redevelopment, and for good reason. If the Union take full advantage of the new venue they will force the Vic to change tact.

  5. Now, forgive me for any naivety here as I have been fortunate enough to only ever work for employers who’ve treat their employees well and have obeyed the law. But why haven’t employees reported Mitchell’s, the vic et.al for their practices when they sound so bad?

  6. I worked for them part-time as a cleaner over the summer a couple of years ago and they only paid me £70 out of the £270 they owed me.

    When I repeatedly visited the manager she just refused to talk about it every time and never replied to any of my emails. Whilst I was working there I heard that she had gone over budget with employees wages and obviously I was the fall guy for her mistakes.

    It wasn’t anything to do with the quality of my work. They liked me so much they asked me to clean at Mitchells as well as at Forgans and gave me more shifts at the expense of the other cleaners.

    I keep hearing bad things about them and Laura the manager at Mitchells so it’s great to see them outed at last. People in St Andrews in particular should be aware of what they are endorsing when they visit any of their premises.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.