A PUB owner has responded after his business was named and shamed by HMRC for failing to pay three of its workers the minimum wage.

David Moss, who owns The Wensleydale Heifer, near Leyburn in North Yorkshire, said an administrative error led to the workers not being paid the correct hourly rate.

It comes as HMRC has published the details of 139 companies across the UK who have failed to pay the minimum wage at some point between 2016 and 2018.

SEE MORE: These 5 North-East and Yorkshire firms failed to pay minimum wage

The list, which was titled 'rogue employers', included the five-star pub and hotel as failing to pay a total of £1,625.89.

Speaking to The Northern Echo, Mr Moss said it had "rectified" the situation immediately as he said the welfare of staff is an "absolute priority."

He said: “The Wensleydale Heifer is a small, family-run business and the welfare of our staff team is an absolute priority.

"This matter dates back to 2016 and relates to members of the team turning 21 while working with us. 

“An administrative error led to them, for a short period of time, not being paid the correct hourly rate.

"This was, of course, rectified immediately when we became aware and they were fully reimbursed.

“We’re proud to contribute almost £500,000 in wages paid to our staff, and into the wider local Yorkshire economy, each year.

"We apologised to the team members affected and have, since 2016, made changes to our systems to minimise the risk of an error of this nature happening again. 

“Our colleagues at the Heifer are really important, and we’re proud that most of them have been part of the team for many, many years, including one of the people this matter relates to.”

In HMRC's list of businesses, it acknowledges that while not every breach is intentional, it remains the responsibility of each firm to ensure they follow the rules.

Addressing all 139 businesses Paul Scully, Business Minister, said: "Paying the minimum wage is not optional, it is the law.

"It is never acceptable for any employer to short-change their workers - this should serve as a wake-up call to named employers and a reminder to everyone of the importance of paying workers what they are legally entitled to.

"Make no mistake, those who fail to follow minimum wage rules will be caught out and made to pay up."