Scotland business

Power firm SSE named for flouting minimum wage

SSE logo Image copyright PA

Energy giant SSE has been named by the UK government as one of 70 companies that failed to pay workers the minimum wage.

The Perth-based firm was found to have neglected to pay £2,233.95 to five workers.

The companies were named following an investigation by tax officials.

SSE said the five staff were paid less than the national minimum wage as a result of "a regrettable administrative error".

The power firm recently awarded one of Scotland's largest living wage contracts.

The minimum wage is significantly lower than the living wage, which is not a legally enforceable minimum level of pay.

The adult rate for the minimum wage is £6.50 per hour, compared with the living wage rate of £9.15 an hour in London and £7.85 in the rest of the UK.

'Arrears settled'

In a statement, SSE said: "Due to a regrettable administrative error, five SSE employees were paid less than the national minimum wage as a result of a voluntary salary sacrifice scheme which allows staff to lease a car at a competitive rate.

"SSE co-operated fully with HMRC as it investigated the payments, and settled the arrears at the earliest possible opportunity.

"We have also introduced additional safeguards which will prevent this happening in the future.

"SSE regrets this breach and welcomes the approach taken by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

"Early identification of the breach, followed by swift action, meant than none of the employees was disadvantaged for long.

"This robust approach ensures that national minimum wage legislation is strengthened by a rigorous enforcement regime, which SSE fully supports."

SSE was one of two Scottish firms to be named by the UK government for failing to pay the minimum wage.

Kelso-based C&R Tyres Ltd was found to have neglected to pay £2,261.60 to three workers.

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