Pryzm Portsmouth: Nightclub workers underpaid by thousands of pounds as closed venue shamed by government

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Hundreds of workers at a popular nightclub in Portsmouth have been underpaid to the tune of thousands of pounds.

Several employees at Pryzm in Stanhope Road were paid less than the minimum wage following the business' closure on February 2. The popular venue closed "with immediate effect" on February 2 after parent company Rekom UK called in administrators to carry out a financial restructure. A total of 17 nightclubs disappeared across the UK, leaving 417 people jobless.

The Portsmouth venue was deemed financially "unviable" by administrators at Grant Thornton UK LLP. The Deltic Group Limited, the company linked to the Stanhope Road nightclub, has been listed by the government alongside over 500 companies which had not been paying the minimum wage. Between August 28, 2016, and September 14, 2019, 409 employees were underpaid to the tune of £17,571.84.

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A company linked to Pryzm Portsmouth has been called out by the government for paying its workers less than the minimum wage. Picture: Matthew Clark.A company linked to Pryzm Portsmouth has been called out by the government for paying its workers less than the minimum wage. Picture: Matthew Clark.
A company linked to Pryzm Portsmouth has been called out by the government for paying its workers less than the minimum wage. Picture: Matthew Clark. | Matthew Clark

The Deltic Group Limited went into administration on December 17, 2020. The government released the list as 524 employers have breached the National Minimum Wage (NMW) law. Investigations by His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) concluded between 2015 and 2023. High street brands including Greggs, B&Q and Game are among the businesses named by the government.

Kevin Hollinrake, minister for enterprise, markets and small business, said: "Employees deserve to get paid properly for the hard work they put in. While the majority of businesses already do the right thing and pay their staff what they are owed, today’s announcement sends a message to the minority who aren’t - that there are repercussions to undercutting hard work from their staff."

James Manning/PA Wire

A total of 172,000 workers have been underpaid by nearly £16m across the UK. Patricia Rice, independent commissioner at the Low Pay Commission, said: "Since its introduction nearly twenty-five years ago, the national minimum wage has played a vital role in protecting the earnings of the lowest-paid workers in the UK. At a time when the cost-of-living is rising, it is more important than ever that these workers receive the pay to which they are entitled.

"NMW underpayment not only cheats workers of their rightful due, it leaves compliant firms undercut by those who do not abide by the law. By naming the firms responsible for significant underpayment, we raise awareness of the nature and the scale of underpayment and encourage all employers to ensure that they fully comply with the law." The government said robust enforcement action will be taken against employers who do not pay their staff properly.

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They added many of the named businesses have since paid back staff what they are owed, and faced financial penalties of up to 200 per cent of their underpayment. People who suspect they have been underpaid can visit the government website online, call the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100, or visit its website.

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