THE OWNER of a restaurant chain which has been accused of paying staff late and not in full has admitted ‘things have gone too far’.

Dave Hackett, owner of Hackett’s, which has a branch in Witney, added: “I am deeply concerned because I know I owe some staff a lot of money.”

Mr Hackett confirmed to the Oxford Mail today that the company owes both current and former members of staff wages, however denied one report this week that he owed staff ‘hundreds of thousands of pounds’ dating back 10 years.

He said that he had agreements in place to pay staff who were owed money and discussions were ongoing with remaining staff, and added that the business had been for sale for two years.

Mr Hackett also said that staff had never complained to him about the number of hours they were scheduled to work.

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Debbie Blayney worked in front of house at Hackett’s in Burford, whilst her husband was the chef at the Carterton branch.

They worked there four years ago and said they would be paid ‘on and off’, before her husband went to Hackett’s in Witney to ‘demand his money’.

Referring to the payment of employees’ wages, David Harris, managing partner at employment solicitors DPH Legal, said: “A case involving non-payment or not being paid enough would be an unlawful deduction of wages and a claim must be brought within three months of them not being paid.”

Employees are protected by the Employee Rights Act 1996.

Hackett’s in Carterton was closed by bailiffs, however the business still operates in Witney and Farmoor.