Government ‘names and shames’ employers found to have underpaid workers

The Government has today ‘named and shamed’ a further 239 employers found to have paid workers less than the National Minimum Wage.

In a new report published in collaboration with the Low Pay Commission, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said it has identified approximately 22,400 workers who have been underpaid a total of £1.44 million.

The offending employers, including the likes of Card Factory and Home Bargains, have been publically listed on the tax office’s website.

HMRC said employers’ biggest mistakes were taking deductions from wages for costs such as uniforms, underpaying apprentices, failing to pay travel time, misusing the accommodation offset and using the wrong time periods for calculating pay.

The National Minimum Wage increased again this April, from £7.50 to £7.83 for employees over the age of 25.

Failing to pay the correct level of remuneration can result in significant fines. HMRC said minimum wage enforcement over the last five years has resulted in identifying £10.8 million in back pay for around 90,000 workers, with more than 1,900 employers fined a total of £8.4 million.

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: “Our priority is making sure workers know their rights and are getting the pay they worked hard for. Employers who don’t do the right thing face fines as well as being hit with the bill for backpay.”

Low Pay Commission Chairman Bryan Sanderson added: “It is crucial that employers understand their responsibilities and workers know their rights around the minimum wage. That is why active enforcement and effective communication from Government is so important.

“It is therefore encouraging to see that HMRC has recovered unpaid wages for the largest number of workers yet in this round of naming and shaming. I’m confident that the Government will continue to pursue underpayment of the minimum wage vigorously.”