Companies ‘named and shamed’ for failing to pay the national minimum wage
A list recently published by the Government names and shames 239 companies who are continuing to breach minimum wage laws and are facing significant fines. These figures, which show an increase of nearly 60 organisations since the last set of statistics in March 2018, proves workers are becoming more aware of their pay rights and of how to ‘blow the whistle’ on their employer.
The scheme serves as a warning to employers who underpay workers whether knowledgably or in error, with financial penalties that can reach as high as 200% of arrears. As of July 2018, of the 239 employers listed, a collective £1.97m has been issued in associated fines.
Card Factory is named as the largest offender with an underpayment of over £430,000 which must be repaid to over 10,000 workers, together with a 200% fine.
As previous reports have indicated, common reasons found include the following:
- Unlawful wage deductions to pay for uniforms, which therefore places the employee’s earnings at a lower amount than the minimum wage;
- Not meeting requirements to pay apprentices £3.70 per hour;
- Failing to pay for travel time that an employee undertakes during the performance of their duties;
- Isolated incidents of failing to provide the minimum wage to one employee
Common sectors who are the worst offenders continue to be noted as hospitality, social care and retail. Whilst a significant proportion of those listed employ only a small number of employees, there are some large brand names such as Home Bargains and Card Factory which demonstrate that a misunderstanding of the rules applies across the board.