A couple of people contacted us about this government document that was released 2018-03-09. It named The Marriott Hotel in Luton as having paid workers less than the national minimum wage. The people that contacted us were concerned that ACCU 2018 was being held at a Marriott Hotel (the Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre) and they were worried that Marriott Hotels were paying people less than the minimum wage, and that ACCU should not be associated with such a hotel.
AYA (the ACCU organisers) have had an excellent relationship with the Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre people since we moved from Oxford to Bristol, and we felt confident there was no problem with this hotel. However, we felt it prudent to ask them explicitly about this issue. For sensible reasons, rather than just make a local informal verbal statement, Marriott Hotels head office have created a formal public statement that they have authorised us to publish:
Marriott is committed to compliance with the national minimum wage. When an error was identified by a routine HMRC audit in 2015, we cooperated fully with HMRC and promptly reimbursed all those affected. We apologised to all our associates impacted by this error and have taken steps to ensure it cannot happen again.
This relates to technical underpayments made in 2015 where some hotels made deductions from wages for live-in accommodation or late-night taxi services. Despite acting in good faith, and with full consent from associates, these deductions were not permissible by HMRC as they lowered the impacted associates’ salary below minimum wage.
When Marriott first became aware of the issue, we immediately suspended all non-statutory deductions. We have since updated our payroll processes so this cannot happen again.
I would like to thank the Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre staff for taking our enquiry seriously, and not only giving AYA verbal assurances, but also "escalating" things so as to get this public statement for us to publish and so explicitly answer the concerns of the people who original raised the issue. Not only can ACCU 2018 go ahead in full knowledge there isn’t an issue, we can continue with our plans for 2019.