Employers named & shamed for paying less than minimum wage
The government has named and shamed 191 employers for underpaying employees, including well-known brands, after they failed to pay £2.1 million to over 34,000 workers who were due the national minimum wage.
HMRC conducted investigations into breaches that occurred between 2011 and 2018. Employers have since been ordered to repay their debts and fined an additional £3.2 million.
The government recently gave millions a pay rise, by increasing national living wage and national minimum wage rates in April 2021. The rise means someone working full time on the national living wage will be taking home £5,400 more annually than they were in 2010. Every UK worker is entitled to the national minimum wage, regardless of their age or profession.
Minimum wage breaches can occur when workers are being paid on or just above the minimum wage rate, and then have deductions from their pay for uniform or accommodation.
Business minister Paul Scully said: ‘Our minimum wage laws are there to ensure a fair day’s work gets a fair day’s pay – it is unacceptable for any company to come up short.
‘All employers need to pay workers properly.
‘This government will continue to protect workers’ rights vigilantly, and employers that short-change workers won’t get off lightly.’
What is the HMRC penalty for employers who do not pay minimum wages?
Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage have to pay back arrears of wages to the worker at current minimum wage rates. They also face hefty financial penalties of up to 200% of arrears – capped at £20,000 per worker – which are paid to the government. Since 2015 the government has ordered employers to repay over £100m to 1m workers.
A significant number of the minimum wage breaches identified affected those on apprenticeships. The government has published new guidance to ensure employers know exactly what they need to do to pay their apprentices, and all workers, correctly.
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