More than 200 employers have been “named and shamed” after failing to pay workers the legal minimum wage.
It comes after investigations revealed that over 12,000 workers had been underpaid a total of £1.2 million.
According to the report, 208 businesses – including national high street firms and small independent ventures – have joined the growing list of employers who have paid less than the National Living Wage (NLW) or the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
As of April this year, the NLW – not to be confused with the voluntary living wage set by the Living Wage Foundation – increased by 6.6 per cent to £9.50, the biggest increase to pay since 2016.
The most common reasons for underpayment include:
- Deductions – such as uniform – that reduce pay below the legal minimum rate, cited in more than a third (37 per cent) of cases.
- Unpaid working time, such as mandatory training, trial shifts, or travel time, cited in 29 per cent of cases.
- Failing to pay the correct rate to apprentices, cited in 16 per cent of cases.
- And not increasing pay in line with government rises, or paying the wrong minimum wage rate, cited in 11 per cent of cases.
Commenting on the report, Minister for Labour Markets Paul Scully said: “We want workers to know that we’re on their side and they must be treated fairly by their employers, which is why paying the legal minimum wage should be non-negotiable for businesses.
“Today’s 208 businesses, whatever their size, should know better than to short-change hard-working employees, regardless of whether it was intentional or not.
“With Christmas fast approaching, it’s more important than ever that cash is not withheld from the pockets of workers. So don’t be a scrooge – pay your staff properly.”
Businesses that fail to pay the legal minimum wage face penalties of up to 200 per cent of what was owed and may be named by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
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