St Johnstone say they are “extremely disappointed” after receiving criticism for allegedly failing to meet National Minimum Wage requirements.
The Perth club featured on a ‘named and shamed list’ that was published following an investigation by HMRC.
It found that St Johnstone owed £14,266.74 to 28 workers, 25 of whom were apprentice footballers.
In a statement, St Johnstone said the club made arrangements to pay former employees the relevant amounts they were owed after the arrears were identified by the HMRC investigation.
The club said: “25 of the 28 employees were apprentice footballers with the club. Due to the absence of written evidence to support our position in relation to hours worked as opposed to the actual rate of pay, the club was unable to disprove HMRC’s estimate of the average hours worked per week by these employees.
“The hours of work undertaken by our apprentices was fully reviewed and changes were implemented immediately following HMRC’s outcome.
“The perceived failure to pay three other employees the National Minimum Wage related to voluntary deductions from pay by these employees.
“The club prides itself in treating our staff fairly and we are extremely disappointed to find ourselves in a position whereby we are criticised for failing to meet National Minimum Wage requirements.”
The HMRC “naming and shaming” scheme has been resumed after a two-year pause and found that 139 UK companies investigated between 2016 and 2018 failed to pay £6.7m to more than 95,000 workers across the UK.
The UK Government’s business minister Paul Scully said naming employers for failing to pay the minimum wage should be a “wake-up call” to rogue bosses.
He said: “Paying the minimum wage is not optional, it is the law. It is never acceptable for any employer to short-change their workers.
“This should serve as a wake-up call to named employers and a reminder to everyone of the importance of paying workers what they are legally entitled to.
“Make no mistake, those who fail to follow minimum wage rules will be caught out and made to pay up.”
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