Around 230 UK employers have been named for underpaying their workers the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage.
On the 16th August, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published the list which included employers such as Argos, Pearson Anderson Limited and Fusion Hairdesign Ltd. See full list here. Retail, hairdressing and hospitality business were among the most prolific offenders.
The government scheme resulted in 13,000 of the countries lowest paid workers receiving an accumulated £2 million in back pay. As well as repaying the money owed, employers on the list have been fined a record breaking £1.9 million by the government.
The most common errors made by employers included failure to account for overtime, deducting money from pay packets to pay for uniforms and wrongly paying apprentice rates to workers.
Business Minister Margot James said:
“It is against the law to pay workers less than legal minimum wage rates, short-changing ordinary working people and undercutting honest employers.
Today’s naming round identifies a record £2 million of back pay for workers and sends the clear message to employers that the government will come down hard on those who break the law.”
Since 2012 the scheme has identified £6 million back pay for over 40,000 workers and fined over £4 million for 1,200 employers.
Melissa Tatton, Director at HM Revenue and Customs said:
“HMRC is committed to getting money back into the pockets of underpaid workers, and continues to crack down on employers who ignore the law.
Those not paying workers the National Minimum or Living Wage can expect to face the consequences.”
The government have committed £25.3 million for minimum wage enforcement in 2017 and 2018 alongside a £1.7 million awareness campaign.
There are currently around 2,000 open cases that HMRC are investigating. More names will be revealed after the cases have been closed.
These employers are breaking the law so schemes like these are an ideal way to try to discourage employers from doing so.
Here at Connections we feel very strongly about this issue and we insure that all out staff are paid the National Minimum or Living Wage. In fact, last week we had 71 temporary positions working on £8.93 an hour.
These types of schemes do seem to be working but there is still a long way to go in order to completely eliminate the issue.