An Employment Tribunal this afternoon agreed that the Club had not paid a number of staff less than the National Minimum Wage despite HMRC having claimed that they had done so. The Tribunal found that the deductions made at the request of the employees in order to spread the payments for season cards were permitted under the legislation.
Boro chairman Steve Gibson said: “I am delighted that our appeal has been successful. We have maintained for two years that the position that HMRC had adopted was unreasonable and that it was not in the public interest to pursue this matter against the Club.
"We reiterated this within the last month and invited them to withdraw the Notice of Underpayment in respect of the Season Cards but they refused. This left us with no alternative to bring the matter to Tribunal.
"In my eyes this is a huge waste of public money. Not only is it the time and effort HMRC have spent on the investigation but also their legal costs and the court time which have been incurred.
"I understand that in addition to one witness HMRC had a barrister, lawyer and three other observers at court. This demonstrates the waste and inefficiency within the civil service. All of which we as tax payers are funding. In the addition there has been considerable expense incurred by the Club in challenging the HMRC's claims.
"I believe this is symptomatic of a bureaucratic civil service who are out of touch with the real world. Ultimately it is the tax payers who are paying for this shambles and our politicians need to take notice and demand a more professional approach in the future. I am delighted that the tribunal vindicated our decision to fight this case."