But it dismissed her claim that she was unfairly dismissed because she had complained about this.
Susan Cotterill had worked for the New Manor Hotel as a food delivery driver in December 2020.
She told the hearing that her wages for the job were £4 per delivery during the evenings, plus an additional £3 per hour during the lunchtime period when it was less busy.
She had pointed out that this was below the then minimum wage of £8.70 an hour and brought up the subject on several occasions.
Ms Cotterill told the panel that she was dismissed the morning after a particularly heated exchange on the subject with the company chairman.
The company that ran the business at that time was SNG Jay Grace Ltd and it was represented at the hearing by Colin Waterton.
He said Ms Cotterill was sacked because she did not have a roadworthy vehicle in which to carry out the deliveries.
It its judgment, the tribunal said that it considered the calculations provided by the company to show how it did pay the minimum wage to be incorrect, and so made an award based on Ms Cotterill’s gross wages during the third week in which she was at the company, when she worked 13.5 hours at a hourly rate of £7.48, which was an underpayment of £1.22 on the minimum wage at the time. It therefore awarded her £16.47.
But the tribunal said that ‘on a balance of probabilities in the evidence provided to the tribunal’, it did not consider the company had sacked Ms Cotterill because of her complaints about it failing to pay the minimum wage.
It considered the reason for her dismissal to be due to ‘the inability of the applicant to perform her employment contract in accordance with a fundamental term agreed by the applicant and the respondent — namely, the failure of the applicant to provide her own delivery vehicle in a roadworthy condition.’
As a result, Ms Cotterill’s complaint was dismissed.