Cau Guildford barman receives 1p pay cheque after restaurant chain goes bust

August 10, 2018
By

The former head barman of a Guildford restaurant said he only received a penny in unpaid wages after his employer went into administration.

Alex Wolfe, 27, began working at Cau in the High Street in May 2017 and when the chain entered administration, a little more than a year later on July 19, he expected to receive his unpaid wages of around £300 at the very least.

However, when opening his final payslip from the business on Monday (August 6), he had been paid just one penny for almost three weeks’ work.

“I was expecting to get paid for what I worked,” he told SurreyLive, “Now I can’t say I haven’t even seen a penny of it, because that’s all I’ve got.”

Alex Wolfe’s final payslip, showing net pay of just 1p
(Image: Darren Pepe/Surrey Advertiser)

The redundancies came suddenly, with a representative of the administrator Deloitte arriving at the restaurant on the morning of July 19 to tell staff they no longer had jobs.

“There was no notice at all,” Mr Wolfe said, “She was handing out information packs to everyone and saying ‘We’re very sorry, but you will be paid for the first three weeks of July.'”

Having worked at the restaurant for less than two years, Mr Wolfe was not entitled to any statutory redundancy pay, but he was not prepared for just how little money he would receive.

Read More

Guildford’s restaurant scene

On receiving his pay slip for one penny, he called the head office of Cau’s owners, Gaucho, certain that there must have been a mistake.

However, he was told that as Cau had gone bust halfway through the year, he was only entitled to half of his holiday allowance and, as he had already taken his full allowance, would have to reimburse to company for this “extra” days off.

A company spokesman said: “All Cau employees were paid for the work they carried out prior to the business entering administration.

“The policy of Cau Restaurants in regards to holiday pay was that where employees left the business having taken more holiday than they had accrued, they had the value of that holiday pay deducted from their final salary payment.

“This is common with many employers and seeks to treat all employees fairly.”

Closure notice on the door of Cau in Guildford High Street
(Image: Darren Pepe/Surrey Advertiser)

Mr Wolfe argues that this is unfair as he had taken the holiday in good faith and it was not his fault that he would not work the full year but the company’s.

He said: “Everyone has received way less than they were expecting. Some people who were expecting to receive close to £600 or £700 have received £40.

“It’s not really on. Even if it’s legal, it’s not morally right.”

Mr Wolfe was able to get a job at the newly opened Chilli Pickle almost immediately, and has been able to call on a support network of family and friends to help him out while he is short of money.

However, he says, eventually he will have to pay them back.

“Other people are not as lucky as myself,” he added, “And I am not sure how they will manage to find money.”

At least one of Mr Wolfe’s ex-colleagues is only managing by taking on more debt.

The former waiter, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had had to depend on his credit card while he looked for a new job after he received nearly £500 less than he was expecting from his unpaid wages.

He said: “I don’t know if they used a loophole to treat people like this. It’s ridiculous.

“It makes me sick how they treated people. There’s no respect.”

Gaucho followed Cau into administration at the end of July 2018 and is seeking a buyer, the latest of a string of restaurants to have collapsed since the start of the year.

Other restaurants to have entered administration or other insolvency procedures in 2018 include Prezzo, Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s and Byron, while Jackson and Rye and Loch Fyne have both closed their Guildford branches.

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/cau-guildford-barman-receives-1p-15001250


Famous Words of Inspiration...

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *