Castledawson businessman hits out over failure to pay minimum wage claim

Embargoed to 0001 Monday February 23''File photo dated 18/09/12 of money as wages will increase ahead of inflation for the first time since 2007 this year but "boom time" pay growth remains a distant prospect, according to a new study. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday February 23, 2015. Martin Beck, senior economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club, said: "Real earnings have fallen by nearly 10% since 2008, but workers will finally see more money in their pockets this year. "However, this is not a normal recovery. The move towards later retirement and the huge increase in the size of the workforce has depressed real wages as workers have priced themselves into jobs. "We don't expect a return to boom time wage growth any time soon. Employment will continue to be strong, but wage growth will remain relatively modest." See PA story ECONOMY Pay. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Embargoed to 0001 Monday February 23''File photo dated 18/09/12 of money as wages will increase ahead of inflation for the first time since 2007 this year but "boom time" pay growth remains a distant prospect, according to a new study. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday February 23, 2015. Martin Beck, senior economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club, said: "Real earnings have fallen by nearly 10% since 2008, but workers will finally see more money in their pockets this year. "However, this is not a normal recovery. The move towards later retirement and the huge increase in the size of the workforce has depressed real wages as workers have priced themselves into jobs. "We don't expect a return to boom time wage growth any time soon. Employment will continue to be strong, but wage growth will remain relatively modest." See PA story ECONOMY Pay. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

A Castledawson businessman has hit out at the government over claims his company was one of five in Northern Ireland that had failed to pay the minimum wage.

Gary McMullan who runs Grove Mechanical Services told the Mail the accusation stems from difficulties around his employment of a second year apprentice in Scotland.

And he said the whole ordeal has put him off ever employing an apprentice again.

“It has totally and utterly put me off, “ he explained.

When asked how he felt about the whole situation he said he was “gutted”.

“I am really frustrated,” he added, “I have over 30 men working for me and I have never been late with payments, and paid top rates for all my employees.

“If you ask any of my men, they have never been underpaid - it’s just one individual [that] has caused me so much problems.”

Aside from being “very stressed” about the claims, he said that “financially it has cost me a lot of money” and that he felt like he “was getting harassed by HMRC” following three investigations.

Mr McMullan said the employee involved walked off site when he lowered his wage in line with the rate for second year apprentices as he was working more days during summer.

He also said that an employment tribunal case brought by the employee had been thrown out by the courts.