Care firm says HMRC has been ‘very unfair’

From left, Paula and Daniel Stacey, Kayleigh Joy and Ben Chudley from Nightingales Golden Care celebrating getting an award earlier this year
From left, Paula and Daniel Stacey, Kayleigh Joy and Ben Chudley from Nightingales Golden Care celebrating getting an award earlier this year

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AN award-winning care home company says it has been unfairly treated by HMRC.

Nightingales Golden Care was listed among 222 other firms across the country that had failed to pay at least the minimum wage to all its staff.

The company, based in 1000 Lakeside in Portsmouth, failed to pay a total of £111.98 to one of the workers.

But the company says that the reason it is on the list is because of a dispute over a timesheet dating back three years.

Registered manager Ben Chudley says it is due to a human error. He said: ‘I’m quite annoyed by it.

‘We used to use timesheets to log hours, and it turned out that a staff member had incorrectly written down their hours.

‘We paid them the amount we thought we owed them but HMRC became involved in the incident.

‘As soon as we found out about it we paid the staff member everything we owed them and assumed that was the end of the problem.’

The company received a letter from HMRC six weeks ago, saying that they would be included in the list.

Ben said: ‘The letter came out of the blue. This happened three years ago and had been resolved instantly.

‘We have appealed the decision twice, but to no avail.

‘We haven’t done anything underhand, and have always done things by the book.

‘It feels as though HMRC are just trying to strangle local businesses like us, in particular with the way they have reformed how the fines work.’

Across the country, employers have been hit with fines for their failures to pay their staff minimum wage – with the fines totalling £1.9m.

Business minister Margot James said: ‘Common errors made by employers in this round included deducting money from pay packets to pay for uniforms, failure to account for overtime hours, and wrongly paying apprentice rates to workers.’

The government has fined 1,200 employers around £4m throughout the country – and forced them to pay out £6m to staff – since 2013.