Naming round 18 includes more than 200 employers
13 December 2021
On 8 December 2021 the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Low Pay Commission (LPC) released the names of 208 businesses who have failed to pay the national minimum wage (NMW).
The employers listed were found to have collectively underpaid £1.2 million, in violation of NMW requirements, to around 12,000 workers. The companies named vary from sole traders all the way up to large high street names. These businesses have since paid back what is owed to workers, along with significant penalties, of up to 200% of the amount paid back.
Paul Scully, Minister for Labour Markets, said:
“We want workers to know that we’re on their side and they must be treated fairly by their employers, which is why paying the legal minimum wage should be non-negotiable for businesses. Today’s 208 businesses, whatever their size, should know better than to short-change hard-working employees, regardless of whether it was intentional or not.”
The highest proportion of errors that resulted in payments less than the minimum wage were deductions that reduce workers’ pay to lower than the legal amount. These are things such as uniforms, training costs, childcare costs and salary sacrifice schemes.
These errors can be unintentional, but failure to pay the minimum wage can result in the public naming and shaming of a business no matter how the error occurred. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been conducting a series of webinars educating and informing employers about their NMW duties. The press release also points to the guidance on pay that is available on GOV.UK.
With the new single enforcement body coming, of which we are awaiting more information, we can expect initiatives to curb minimum wage violations to continue. With the 6.6% rise to National Living Wage (NLW) coming in April 2022, employers will need to be vigilant to ensure they do not fall foul of the rules and end up appearing in future lists published by the government.
An educational bulletin is released alongside the naming round, and it can be found in full here. It explores, in greater detail, the reasons for the underpayments and the amount of employees affected.
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