Government gets tough with employers failing to pay National Minimum Wage

03 March 2014

Employers who owe their workers thousands of pounds for failing to pay them the correct National Minimum Wage have been named and shamed by Business Secretary Vince Cable.

The government is introducing a series of tougher measures to crack down on employers who flout National Minimum Wage law. The first of these, a tougher naming and shaming scheme, came into effect on 1 October 2013.

Five employers are the first to be named under the stricter rules, who between them owe workers a total of over £6,800 in arrears and have been charged financial penalties totalling £3,381.40.

The 5 employers are:

  • Peter Oakes of Peter Oakes Ltd, Macclesfield, neglected to pay £3619.70 to 2 workers
  • Lisa Maria Cathcart of Salon Sienna, Manchester, neglected to pay £1760.48 to a worker
  • Mohammed Yamin of Minto Guest House, Edinburgh, neglected to pay £808.56 to a worker
  • Anne Henderson of Chambers Hairdressers, Middlesbrough neglected to pay £452.22 to a worker
  • Ruzi Ruzyyev a car wash operator in Carmarthen neglected to pay £225.38 to a worker

As well as being publicly named and shamed, employers who fail to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage will face higher financial penalties of up to £20,000 as of 7 March 2014.

The government also plans to legislate at the earliest opportunity so that employers will also be given penalties of up to £20,000 for each individual worker they have underpaid, rather than the maximum fine applying to each employer. In the most serious cases, employers can also face criminal prosecution.

The new higher penalties that will come into force on 7 March 2014 will increase the National Minimum Wage financial penalty percentage from 50% to 100% of total underpayments and the maximum penalty applied from £5,000 to £20,000.

The 5 cases named were thoroughly investigated by HMRC after the workers made complaints to the free and confidential Pay and Work Rights helpline. Employers who are unsure of National Minimum Wage rules can also get free advice and information from the

Pay and Work Rights helpline on 0800 917 2368.

Follow this link to read the full press release.