21 June 2023
Over 200 employers are being named by government for failing to pay their lowest paid staff the minimum wage. Employers have been ordered to repay workers and face penalties of nearly £7 million, after the breaches have left 63,000 workers out of pocket.
It has been reported today that the 202 employers were found to have failed to pay their workers almost £5 million in a clear breach of National Minimum Wage (NMW) law. Companies being named today by the government, range from major high street brands to small businesses and sole traders. This is a clear message from the government, that no employer is exempt from paying their workers the statutory minimum wage.
Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business Kevin Hollinrake, said:
‘‘Paying the legal minimum wage is non-negotiable and all businesses, whatever their size, should know better than to short-change hard-working staff.
Most businesses do the right thing and look after their employees, but we’re sending a clear message to the minority who ignore the law: pay your staff properly or you’ll face the consequences.’’
It has been further informed, that the businesses named in today’s list have since paid back what they owe to their staff and have also faced financial penalties. The investigations by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) concluded between 2017 and 2019.
The employers named today previously underpaid workers in the following ways:
- 39% of employers deducted pay from workers’ wages
- 39% of employers failed to pay workers correctly for their working time
- 21% of employers paid the incorrect apprenticeship rate.
Whilst not all minimum wage underpayments are intentional, the government stresses that there is no excuse for underpaying workers.
Guidance for employers on pay is available on GOV.UK. In addition, today the government has published additional advice about breaches and the steps employers should take to make sure they pay their workers correctly.
Bryan Sanderson, Chair of the Low Pay Commission (LPC), said:
‘‘The minimum wage acts as a guarantee to ensure all workers without exception receive a decent minimum standard of pay. Where employers break the law, they not only do a disservice to their staff but also undermine fair competition between businesses.
Regular naming rounds should be a useful tool in raising awareness of underpayment and helping to protect minimum wage workers.’’
Employers should always carry out the necessary checks - see the guidance: Calculating the Minimum Wage. An educational bulletin is also available, which focuses on unpaid working time, including some general statistics regarding breaches of NMW legislation in today’s naming round.
HMRC consider all complaints from workers, so workers are being reminded to check their pay with advice available through the ‘check your pay’ website.
Read the full press release and the full list of employers being named and shamed, here.
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