UNISON Scotland vowed yesterday to take legal action against a charity for not paying the minimum wage.
The Richmond Fellowship Scotland is refusing to cough up hundreds of pounds in back pay to staff who have not received the national minimum wage.
Unison Scotland regional organiser Deborah Dyer said union members were “furious” with the Richmond Fellowship Scotland.
“Refusing to pay staff the minimum wage is a very serious matter, and they have left us no choice but to start litigation proceedings,” he said.
Unison argues that The Richmond Fellowship Scotland has broken the law by paying workers a flat rate for overnight stays, which gives some staff an average wage that is well below the national legal minimum.
“Staff at Richmond work incredibly hard providing vital care to some of our most vulnerable people. They deserve decent pay and conditions and not to be fighting with their employer for their legal right to back pay for non-payment of the minimum wage.”
The Richmond Fellowship Scotland is the largest provider of social care services in Scotland, supporting over 2,800 people with a broad range of needs.
Unison Scottish secretary Mike Kirby said: “We understand the difficulties charities face, but you cannot survive with a business model which fails to pay staff the minimum wage. We hope, even at this late stage, they will get back round the table to find a solution.”
Multimillion-pound businesses, including high-street stores as well as small firms and charities, are among dozens of minimum-wage cheats named and shamed every quarter by the government.
In March, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills listed 48 employers who had failed to pay the minimum wage of £6.50 an hour.