Jason Bennett believes his daughter, Hannah, is just one of a number of staff at the Eastham Ferry Hotel on the Wirral who have been left unpaid following the sudden departure of Marston’s tenant Margaret ‘Rocky’ Quinn in mid-March.
A nursing student, Hannah was hired only two weeks before and is owed £250 for more than 40 hours work, according to Bennett.
“She was obviously very upset and had financial obligations to meet that I have subsequently had to pay,” he said.
“I spoke to the area manager who explained Marston’s did not actually manage the pub themselves so it could do nothing and we would have to chase Rocky Quinn ourselves.”
"No money to pay staff"
In a conversation on Facebook, Quinn said she did not have money to pay the staff, but Bennett has been unable to find her address to pursue the claim further.
The family are being supported by Unpaid Britain, a project based at Middlesex Business School that is examining the causes and consequences of unpaid wages.
Project leader Nick Clark said a pub tenant could be pursued for unpaid wages through an employment tribunal, county court or the National Minimum Wage Inspectorate – though all the risk and cost is placed on the worker.
“If the employer was insolvent it is possible that at least some wages could be reclaimed from the Insolvency Service, but in all these cases it would be necessary to have an address to serve documents to.”
Clark added that he felt Marston’s should take some responsibility for the unpaid staff.
“Of course they have an obligation to those workers. It is, after all, they who are generating the profits for the pub industry.”
A Marston’s spokesperson said: “We are aware of the situation at the Eastham Ferry and we are currently working through the details on this.”
She confirmed that a new licensee is now in place at the pub.
The Morning Advertiser has attempted to contact Margaret Quinn but has not yet received a response. According to her social media, she managed the Cock Hotel Flaming Grill pub in Worsley, Manchester, for Spirit Group until last summer when she took over the Marston’s tenancy trading as Serendipity Eastham.