News

Company run by some of Wales’ richest people named on ‘Scrooge’ list for failing to pay minimum wage

11 Dec 2021 3 minutes Read
Image by Ahmad Ardity from Pixabay.

A company run by some of Wales’ richest people has been named and shamed by the UK Government for failing to comply with the minimum wage.

Premier Forest Products Limited, a timber business based in Newport, was among some 200 firms called out for leaving around 12,000 workers out of pocket by £1.2 million.

The company shortchanged two workers of £797,70 between 2014 and 2017, according to details published by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Low Pay Commission.

Its founders, Dilwyn Howells, Nigel Williams and Terry Edgell, are reportedly worth £24 million each and were all included in last year’s Wales Rich List.

Terry Edgell recently purchased Penllyn Castle, a grade-II listed mansion in the Vale of Glamorgan which comes with 72 acres of land, which was on the market in 2018 for £1 million.

Nation.Cymru contacted Premier Forest Products Limited for a response.

Golden Sands Holiday Camp in Rhyl, which had recently received positive publicity from its association with I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, was also named and shamed.

The site, which was reportedly booked to house staff working on the latest season of the show, failed to pay £1.207,50 two five workers between 2013 and 2018. It has been under new management since last month, according to its filings on Companies House.

‘Don’t be a scrooge’

Two more smaller Welsh businesses appeared on the list of “scrooge” employers.

Charles Edward Bateman of the Hunters Moon Inn in Monmouthshire owed £4.874,19 to four workers, while Clive Jones Motors Ltd, which is also now under new ownership, owed £3.816,75 to one worker.

House of Fraser and Waterstones were among household names on the list elsewhere in the UK.

“Businesses, whatever their size, should know better than to short-change hard-working employees, regardless of whether it was intentional or not,” said UK Government Labour Markets Minister Paul Scully.

“With Christmas fast approaching, it’s more important than ever that cash is not withheld from the pockets of workers. So don’t be a scrooge – pay your staff properly.”

The Department for Work and Pensions said the companies named today not only had to pay the amounts due to workers but had to pay up to 200% of the sum to the government as a penalty.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said “firms who cheat staff out of their hard-earned money deserve to be named and shamed” but added: “We also need to see prosecutions and higher fines for the most serious offenders, especially those who deliberately flout the law. Minimum wage underpayment is still far too common in Britain.”

Nation.Cymru revealed last year how a Welsh company named and shamed for breaching minimum wage rules was the biggest donor to Vaughan Gething’s Labour leadership campaign and its owner is CEO of another firm which employs Conservative MP Alun Cairns.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
8 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
1 month ago

Another reason why the powers to enact and enforce the minimum wage should be devolved to Wales

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

Yes, but that alone won’t guarantee the change in attitude necessary to prevent repetition. Some of these rich bast**ds have a profound sense of entitlement which allows them to abuse employees and their rights. At the same time they are often to the forefront when it comes to whinging about business rates, business taxes, while being very adept at sucking up any grants being dished out by government. Mention benefits claimants and they recite the old nonsense about the minority who are “cheats” yet this overindulged cluster have no shame in bleating about their situation.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Yes youre spot on there

Grayham Jones
1 month ago

Make them pay taxes in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 all Company in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 to pay taxes to The Welsh Government we have got to stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Argol Fawr
Argol Fawr
1 month ago

I despair. Up till now (and there’s no reason to think it’ll change), manufacturing companies establish themselves in Wales primarily for two reasons. Cheap labour and government incentives. Take those away and those companies move elsewhere. Trundling your widget from Wales to a ‘major market’ costs more. Just check out those great companies such as Halo who ‘made it good’ in rural Wales, then sold on and moved to a more economic central location. Wake up and smell the Coffee.

Dave
Dave
1 month ago

How can a person born in Wales treat their own so badly? they should be ashamed of doing the #toryliars job for them

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Just goes to show that a grasping Welsh capitalist is pretty much the same as a grasping capitalist from anywhere else. Scum, the lot of them!

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
1 month ago

Bring back the days when we had strong unions before magie wrecking ball time

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.