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Creams British Luxury, Bluewater, in staff wages row

By Chris Hunter

A luxury tea room has been forced to apologise after staff were left unpaid.

There were angry scenes at Creams British Luxury in Bluewater as young staff and parents demanded to meet with top managers over the error while some customers were also said to have left in disgust over the situation.

Described on its website as having "top-tier decor, contemporary furniture, marble floors and crystal chandeliers” and “an air of elegance and grandeur”, the upmarket tea room was accused of owing employees up to six weeks’ worth of back pay.

Luxury afternoon teas are on the menu
Luxury afternoon teas are on the menu

This week Creams apologised for the error and admitted there had been a delay with payments.

A statement said proof that the salaries were paid to the employees on September 1, as agreed in the contracts, had been provided by the franchisees.

But it added: “However it would appear that there was a delay in some of the staff receiving payment on that day.

"Creams head office staff are urgently looking to rectify the situation and believe everyone has now been paid.

“If this is not the case they have asked any employee who has still not received their salary to email them at creams@creamstp.com using the subject line BLUEWATER EMPLOYEE so the matter can be resolved quickly.

“Creams apologise unreservedly for the delay and will be putting measures in place to ensure that this does not happen again.”

There were queues when the store opened.
There were queues when the store opened.

A statement from Bluewater management added: “Bluewater was made aware of the situation on Friday and have since contacted Creams, requesting that the situation is resolved as soon as possible.”

While staff have since received payment, some reported today they had not received the full amount due.

Posting on Facebook earlier this week, Dartford council’s Labour leader Cllr Jonathon S Hawkes said: “Good to see pressure building on Creams in Bluewater to ensure all their staff are paid properly.

“I’ve contacted Bluewater about this issue as have dozens of residents. I understand that some wages have started to come through but we need to make sure all staff are paid for the work they have done.

“It’s great having so many businesses on our doorstep. Many are good employers but we need to ensure that all businesses in Dartford respect and act on the rights of their employees.”

Russell Attree, whose daughter was among the unpaid staff said the situation was “absolutely disgusting”.

“We want my daughter’s wages,” he added. “She needs paying.”

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