New National Minimum Wage offenders named and shamed

24 Mar 2015 12:21 AM

Business Minister Jo Swinson has named 48 employers who have failed to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage.

Between them, the companies named owe workers over £162,000 in arrears, and span sectors including fashion, publishing, hospitality, health and fitness, automotive, care, and retail.

This latest round brings the total number of companies named and shamed under the new regime to 210 employers, with total arrears of over £635,000 and total penalties of over £248,000.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said:

There’s no excuse for companies that don’t pay staff the wages they’re entitled to – whether by wilfully breaking the law, or making irresponsible mistakes.

The government is protecting workers by cracking down on employers who ignore minimum wage rules. In addition to naming and shaming, we’ve increased the penalty fines and boosted the resources available to investigate non-compliance.

The 48 employers named yesterday (24 March 2015) are:

The 48 cases named yesterday were thoroughly investigated by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The scheme was revised in October 2013 to make it simpler to name and shame employers that do not comply with minimum wage rules.

If you have any questions about the National Minimum Wage (NMW) as a worker or as an employer please call Acas on 0300 123 1100.

Notes to editors

1.Employers have a duty to be aware of the different legal rates for the National Minimum Wage.

The current National Minimum Wage rates are:

The apprentice rate applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 years and those aged 19 years and over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage rate for their age.

2.The government is committed to increasing compliance with minimum wage legislation and effective enforcement of it. Everyone who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) scheme to name employers who break minimum wage law came into effect on 1 January 2011. The scheme is one of a range of tools at the government’s disposal to tackle this issue. Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage not only have to pay back arrears of wages at current minimum wage rates but also face financial penalties of up to £20,000. In the most serious cases employers can be prosecuted.

3.From 1 October 2013 the government revised the naming scheme to make it simpler to name and shame employers who break the law. Under this scheme the government will name all employers that have been issued with a Notice of Underpayment (NoU) unless employers meet one of the exceptional criteria or have arrears of £100 or less. All 48 cases named yesterday failed to pay the National Minimum Wage and have arrears of over £100.

4.Employers have 28 days to appeal to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) against the NoU (this notice sets out the owed wages to be paid by the employer together with the penalty for not complying with minimum wage law). If the employer does not appeal or unsuccessfully appeals against this NoU, BIS will consider them for naming. The employer then has 14 days to make representations to BIS outlining whether they meet any of the exceptional criteria:

If BIS does not receive any representations or the representations received are unsuccessful, the employer will be named via a BIS press release under this scheme.

5.Further information about the revised BIS NMW naming scheme can be found at Enforcing national minimum wage law