Record number of employers underpaying workers

As the National Minimum Wage prepares to go up this month, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has released its latest ‘rogue’s gallery’ of under payers – and it is the biggest list to date.

More than 350 employers were found to have failed to pay either the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or the National Living Wage (NLW) to their staff, according to the department’s latest data.

In total 15,520 workers were affected, missing out on £995,233 of pay. Employers in the hairdressing, hospitality and retail sectors were identified as the most prolific offenders on the list, which included High Street names, such as Debenhams.

It was found that the retail giant had failed to pay £134,894 to 11,858 workers, while the next biggest amount owing was £55,056 to 154 workers at Pembrokeshire Care Ltd.

HM Revenue & Customs has since collected the pay arrears from the majority of those listed and issued penalties worth around £800,000 to businesses.

This was the first time that employers were penalised for failing to pay the National Living Wage to eligible employees.

The latest excuses from employers for underpaying workers included docking workers’ wages to pay for a Christmas party and making staff shell out for uniforms out of their own wages.

Responding to the announcement, Business minister Margot James said: “Every worker in the UK is entitled to at least the National Minimum or Living wage and this Government will ensure they get it.

“That is why we have named and shamed more than 350 employers who failed to pay the legal minimum, sending the clear message to employers that minimum wage abuses will not go unpunished.”

Link: Record number of employers named and shamed for underpaying

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