Rogue employers “named and shamed” for not paying National Minimum Wage
More than 260 British firms have been “named and shamed” for not paying staff the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
The most common reasons include failing to pay for travel between work, not covering overtime, and deducting cash from wages for essential equipment such as uniform.
The NMW increased to £7.50 for workers over the age of 25 in April this year.
Among the listed companies, Primark has been forced to repay more than £230,000 after charging staff for uniforms.
Sports Direct was also heavily fined, paying more than £1.1 million in wages owed to workers.
The research, published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), suggests a serious lack of understanding of employment law.
Business Minister Margot James said: “There is no excuse for not paying staff the wages they’re entitled to and the government will come down hard on businesses that break the rules.
“That’s why today we are naming hundreds of employers who have been short changing their workers; and to ensure there are consequences for their wallets as well as their reputation, we’ve levied millions in back pay and fines.”
Bryan Sanderson, Chairman of the Low Pay Commission, added: “The Low Pay Commission’s conversations with employers suggest that the risk of being named is encouraging businesses to focus on compliance.
“Further, it is good to see that HMRC continues to target large employers who have underpaid a large number of workers, as well as cases involving only a few workers, where workers are at risk of the most serious exploitation. It is imperative that the government keeps up the pressure on all employers who commit breaches of minimum wage law.”
The maximum fine for not paying the NMW was increased to £20,000 per worker in 2014.