Employers fined heavily for failing to pay the National Minimum Wage

Retailers Primark and Sports Direct are among the 260 employers to be publically named and shamed for failing to pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which published the report, said 16,000 workers are due around £1.7 million in back pay.

It adds that the offending employers have been fined £1.3 million for their indiscretions.

The most common reasons for not paying that legal minimum wage were failing to pay workers travelling between jobs, deducting money from pay for uniforms, and not paying for overtime.

The current NMW is £7.50 for workers over the age of 25. This will increase to £7.83 in April 2018.

Employers who fail to pay the NMW can face a penalty of up to £20,000 per worker.

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.”

Around 1,500 employers have been fined a total of £5 million since enforcement began in 2013.

Bryan Sanderson, Chairman of the Low Pay Commission, said: “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.”

For advice on employment law matters in regards to the National Minimum Wage, including defending or pursuing an Employment Tribunal claim, please contact Andrew Firman or Kate Boguslawska or visit our website.