Riding for the Disabled Association defends Washington Riding Centre after 'name and shame'

The Washington Riding Centre.
The Washington Riding Centre.
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The Association has leapt to the defence of the local centre, which was "named and shamed" in a Government list revealing those who do not pay minimum wage.

Washington Riding Centre yesterday said the reason it is on the list is due to an error they made in paying apprentices, who agreed to pay for additional training packages.

And now the charitable organisation has defended its Tyne and Wear branch and hailed the good work carried out in the community.

An RDA statement said: "Riding for the Disabled Association fully supports Tyne & Wear RDA, which has been ‘named and shamed’ by HMRC despite having made a procedural mistake which they have already rectified and also had to pay a fine for some months ago.

"Tyne & Wear RDA delivers a fantastic service to its disabled riders, and also provides a vital opportunity for young people to receive training and education through apprenticeships.

"The charity is an invaluable community resource which is devastated by having been named in this way. The service delivered by the Centre to the local community is second to none and we hope that there will be no unnecessary damage to their reputation as a result of this announcement.”

The Washington Centre explained that the apprentices had agreed to additional training packages, the cost of which were deducted from wage slips. When they were informed that this was "not the correct procedure" they rectified the mistake.

Their statement continued: “Tyne & Wear Riding for the Disabled has paid all of the monies back to each employee and did so at the earliest opportunity.

"We have enlisted the services of a HR company to ensure that we are always compliant going forward and have changed our practices to ensure no further administration errors occur."

The naming and shaming scheme was revised in October 2013, to make it simpler to name and shame employers that do not comply with minimum wage rules.